Environment
5:09 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Massive Mexican Wildfire Scorches 500,000 Acres

As large wildfires in Texas grab most of the US media's attention, a large piece of sparely populated land is being scorched by flames in Northern Mexico.  The fires, named El Bonito and La Sabina, are among the largest in Mexican history. More than 493,827 acres have been scorched since mid-March, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports.

The fire, which is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the Texas border, is burning around the cities of Acuña, Arteaga, Muzquiz and Ocampo, the [Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat] secretariat said.

NASA's Landsat-5 satellite took pictures of the fire on April 9. One image includes both infrared and visible light to show the extent of the damage. Check out the images here.

The United States military has been helping to extinguish the blaze. Over the weekend, two US Air Force planes began dropping water on the wildfires, Fox News Latino reports.

The two C-130 Hercules planes "began the work of dropping water and non-toxic fire retardant substances" on Sunday morning in the northern state of Coahuila, where the blaze is burning on several fronts, the secretariat said.