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Smoke and air pollution


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I'll second that by saying that even in lush, green Florida there are always brush fires this time of year, and the sky can be hazy and air smelly for days.  But we seldom, if ever, notice it, because our homes are shut up tight as a drum to keep the air-conditioning in, and the humidity out. Then, as we step from the house to our attached garage and into our cars, we drive (windows up, air-conditioning on) to our destination, which is usually another sealed, air-conditioned environment.

I think the reason I notice it more here--and I have been thinking about this a lot, because not only am I, as a newcomer, noticing the smoke, but the dog and vehicle noises, also--is because I have been living in a hermetically sealed, climate-controlled environment for the past 30 years of my life.  I've been conditioned to a certain level of existential bliss which comes from being shut off from humanity and nature.  Even when I spend extended time out in the bush of Africa I find it takes me a while (like a month!) to adjust to the sounds of the wild. 

When I was a child growing up in New England, the noises of life--dogs barking, cats howling, sirens, lawn mowers, people shouting, all in temperatures sometimes hitting over 100 degrees--seldom bothered me.  It's only since I became conditioned in my adult "bubble" that I notice these irritants more.

So, I am learning to roll with it, as the saying goes, and plan a trip elsewhere for the month of May next year.

 

 

 

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I do not think the border stops smoke..Fires at the end of a dry season is what happens around the world.. Fires get started by nature , by broken bottles and by careless people or criminal. that is just a fact of life..Get used to it because nothing is going to change or move to a place where it rains all the times so it is too wet for fire.and then you can complain about the rain ...

 

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I first came here this exact time of year 10-11 years ago and don't remember any excess smoke at all, at least for that 2 week period.  This year has been the worst!  The views have been obscured for at least a couple of weeks even when we have a breeze.  The air pollution definitely contributes to respiratory problems.  I had my roof painted white to reflect some of the heat and am now keeping my windows closed during the day.  Pray for rain!

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My very first visit here, March 20 years ago... the first thing I noticed as I got off the plane in Guadalajara was the smell of smoke. Smelled like outdoor camping to me, and I loved it. When not here, suddenly the smell of a campfire reminded me of Mexico.

The layers of smoke are so heavy that Saturday, travelling on the main road heading west, the sun was almost blotted out, and the mountains were shrouded. Several years ago, we would sit on the roof at night and watch the red outline along the mountaintops as the firest raged out of control. What we are facing is minor compared to people directly affected due to their proximity to the fires now raging, and compared to the responders who are trying to quell them.

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29 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

My very first visit here, March 20 years ago... the first thing I noticed as I got off the plane in Guadalajara was the smell of smoke. Smelled like outdoor camping to me, and I loved it. When not here, suddenly the smell of a campfire reminded me of Mexico.

The layers of smoke are so heavy that Saturday, travelling on the main road heading west, the sun was almost blotted out, and the mountains were shrouded. Several years ago, we would sit on the roof at night and watch the red outline along the mountaintops as the firest raged out of control. What we are facing is minor compared to people directly affected due to their proximity to the fires now raging, and compared to the responders who are trying to quell them.

The Jocotepec Bomberos got to close to a brush fire with this specially built truck for that purpose donated by the city of Lethbridge,Alberta through Rotary Club.

bomberos jocotepec 001.jpg

bomberos jocotepec 002.jpg

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1 hour ago, ezpz said:

I first came here this exact time of year 10-11 years ago and don't remember any excess smoke at all, at least for that 2 week period.  This year has been the worst!  The views have been obscured for at least a couple of weeks even when we have a breeze.  The air pollution definitely contributes to respiratory problems.  I had my roof painted white to reflect some of the heat and am now keeping my windows closed during the day.  Pray for rain!

Unfortunately, closing the window to this pollution, will not protect us from PM 2.5 pollution. 

Irregardless of if you roll with it, are struggling with it etc., this type of pollution takes its toll.  While it may not (appear) to affect many individuals immediately, the longterm affects are there for all of us humans.  It weakens already weakened aging immune systems and the resulting lung, heart, brain and cancer which challenges us, are not immediately (if ever) are connected to such environmental risks. Most patients and docs never make the connection.  

Sunday it died down a bit (day off from burning), but not much.  Today it has yet increased again.  

What increased the pollution this May?  

It was not here last year to this degree.  We did not require pain/snus/headache meds prior. Throat (raspy) and eyes (irritated/watery) problems were not presented until this May.  Any explanations?  Fires?  

We are younger expats.  No health issues at all.

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We also do not recall it ever being this bad nearly continuously for this long.  I'm also curious as to why so many fires this year.

I don't see any signs of monsoonal flow building.  Usually by now they are starting to have showers up in Mazamitla but no sign of those either.  

 

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Could one of the reasons it seems so much more smoky this year be that according to the Chapala weather station, we have had less rain so far this year, than the previous 2 years? Could the small amount more rain they had during the previous two years have made much of a difference? I sure as heck don't know.

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TX, MEXLC for the heads up.  It's enough to make you want to leave town at this time and I used to enjoy the hot weather.  I think recent lack of rain is a factor in the presence of more fires although we had a decent rainy season last year.  I've also noted how every year it has consistently gotten a little hotter for the last few years also enabling the dengue mosquito to take hold here.  Lots of people were sick with dengue last year.

I've been dreaming of returning to San Cristobal at this time next year, where it is cool and a little rainy.  I felt much better when traveling there partially due to the clean mountain air and very clean town - no dust, trash, or poop in the streets!.  I have had ongoing allergy and respiratory problems the last year or so including laryngitis for over a year, yes, with various meds... and that is death for a singer.

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The thunderstorms are slowly moving closer.  Several about 100 miles east last night, first ime that close since the last rainy season.

My best guess is 10-14 days until we start getting some rain.

The haze is down some today.  I can actually see the mountains across the lake.

 

 

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10 hours ago, jrm30655 said:

The thunderstorms are slowly moving closer.  Several about 100 miles east last night, first ime that close since the last rainy season.

My best guess is 10-14 days until we start getting some rain.

The haze is down some today.  I can actually see the mountains across the lake.

 

 

A thunderstorm is here right now in Chapala.

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Just for some perspective regarding air pollution in Mexico:

The Guardian ten days ago reported that according to the World Health Organization, more people die per capita in the UK from air pollution than do in Mexico.

In fact, the mortality rate from air pollution in the UK is quite a bit higher than the homicide rate in Mexico. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/17/air-pollution-kills-more-people-in-the-uk-than-in-sweden-us-and-mexico

Looking forward to the rains, in any case!

 

 

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I lived in the UK in the late 60´s and betwen the fog and the polution the air quality was the worst.. Paris was not far behind either.. When I first landed in Mexico city in  the 80´s, the trees in the city were dying and it smelled just like Paris.. Now the air is way cleaner..

 

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I flew with the Air Force out of England for a year in the early 70s.  Visibility was almost always bad early in the morning and late at night.

Spent a lot of time practicing low approaches "sniffing for concrete". 

I've never seen anything in MX close to what you saw in England

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I ll never forgot when I flew some small airplane from Paris to England somewhere in the late 60´s, we could not land anywhere because the visibility was so bad, it was night and foggy.. finally we tried Heathrow and landed and right after us a big jet from India I believe crashed. I do not remember why  but I remember trying to land over and over and not being able to.. I was hoping we would not run out of gas..

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  • 8 months later...
On 5/20/2017 at 11:43 PM, pappysmarket said:

Wait, how can this be? Second best climate in the world.

Yes as the longer term residents have posted, this happens every May. One of several reasons we prefer PV.

I would love to see a link where it says 2nd best climate in the world other than international living and brochure brochures. 

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7 hours ago, michael2595 said:

I would love to see a link where it says 2nd best climate in the world other than international living and brochure brochures. 

Yeah, my tongue was firmly in my cheek when I wrote that. Many people have claimed that statement is from Nat Geo but I have never seen a quote to back it up.

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The air in this area wouldn't win any "pristine" prizes, that's for sure.  Between the burning and the dirty air of GDL it can get pretty bad.  For the most part the GDL soot stays on the other side of the mountain but when they start burning the fields, watch out.  It hasn't triggered my mild asthma yet though.

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