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Fire in the Charco del Ingenio

By Jade Arroyo

On Tuesday, April 5, El Charco del Ingenio suffered a fire. The nature reserve and botanical garden of San Miguel was not completely devastated, but the damage was considered serious.

The fire started about 5pm. Unfavorable factors, such as the strong wind that lasted half an hour, caused the fire to spread rapidly, damaging approximately 70 percent of the northern area. This area extends from the Hacienda to La Casa de Preseo (to the dam).

According to Mario Hernández, director of El Charco, this fire was caused by three men who have already been identified. Names could not be divulged at the time, but a follow-up report on legal proceedings will be issued soon.

The 066 Emergency System received the report of a fire in the protected natural area. Civil Protection arrived, and they noticed the presence of a tornado of fire with flames consuming vegetation such as huizaches, mesquite, and cactus. At 9pm, the fire flared up again, so Civil Protection and firemen returned to the scene to douse the flames. The Botanical Garden team coordinated the firefighters and Civil Protection crew, who worked for six hours to completely wipe out the fire. There were no serious injuries. Only one staff member suffered heat stroke caused by smoke inhalation.

The Charco del Ingenio team would like to thank the San Miguel community for its interest, concern, and offers to help.

El Charco del Ingenio, in addition to having cultural and historical significance, maintains a priority mission in conservation and has served as a refuge for flora and fauna for 25 years, becoming an area where rabbits, turtles, coyotes, foxes, snakes, opossums, raccoons, cacomixtles (ring-tailed cats of the raccoon family), and a variety of birds live peacefully and in freedom.

For now, all these species are suffering due to the imbalance in their natural habitat. If you are interested in helping with the reconstruction of Charco by volunteering, you can contact Marisa Ávalos at

The municipal goverment invites the public to be careful to prevent fires that endanger our environment and our personal property. The Ministry of Public Security and Civil Protection Municipal Transit provides these recommendations:

Avoid throwing lit cigarette butts or objects in pastures
Request authorization for burning stubble, and monitor it
Don’t leave until you are absolutely sure a fire is completely out
Refrain from lighting fires in forest areas, even though it is authorized, when weather conditions are favorable to the spread of fire (high temperatures, dry soil, or winds)
Keep roads leading to houses clean
Avoid excessive greenery in gardens
Remove dry vegetation and don’t have any uncontrolled landfills


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