Chapala firefighter is recovering from first- and second-degree burns sustained while battling a brush fire Saturday, April 7 in the vicinity of the regional prison located in Hacienda de la Labor.
The 15-year veteran was caught up in a whirlwind of flames that sprouted up with a sudden shift of winds on the hillside where he and his companions were working to quell the blaze. While the others managed to jump out of the way, the injured man became enveloped in flames, suffering burns to both hands, his right elbow and face.
Rushed to the Chapala Red Cross and a Guadalajara hospital, physicians determined there was no damage to his respiratory system. He was released to return to his family home in Jocotepec to recover under continuing treatment.
The fire was extinguished around 8:30 p.m. by a team of eight Chapala bomberos and five colleagues from Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos.
Fire Department Director Enrique Perales noted that around 80 hectares of the local landscape have been torched so far this year, he reported.
Perales indicated that his men are put in peril by the inadequate and obsolete equipment they work with, including second-hand turnout gear that for the most part is designed for combating fires in urban building structures. The department is in dire need of protective wear specifically for forest fires and a new supply of hand-operated water pumps.