JUST days after the first major fire broke out in Sierra Bermeja, experts warn that rising temperatures in the affected areas may pave the way for future fires.
The fight against forest fires is a priority for the Junta, especially during the summer months where new fires start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts.
With temperatures exceeding 40ºC in many areas of Andalucia this week, specifically in the Guadalquivir Valley, the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and Infoca, Andalucia’s fire prevention and extinction plan, have this Sunday, June 12, called for ‘maximum caution and responsibility’ from all citizens.
Experts stress that awareness and education are key components in the prevention of forest fires in the region and the importance of calling, toll-free, the emergency number 112 in case of detecting a fire.
Only a very low percentage of forest fires in Andalucia are caused by natural factors such as lightning. The rest are caused by negligence or set intentionally.
For this reason the Junta has sent a reminder of the basic rules which are mandatory in all circumstances and for any activity, whenever within a forest or in close proximity (400 meters).
The high risk fire season runs from June 1 to October 31, and there are 1,500 people who are prepared to intervene quickly at the first sign of smoke, with 198 lookout towers across the region for the early detection of a forest fire.
That said, during the high-risk period for forest fires, the use of fire and the circulation of motor vehicles is prohibited in Andalucia’s forest areas and areas of forest influence, i.e. land located within a 400-metre strip around these areas.
With regard to fire, the ban includes both agricultural burning and barbecues, including in recreational areas.
Exceptions to this order, which must always have the prior approval of the territorial delegation of the corresponding province, including the preparation of food in children’s camps.
Barbecues may also be held in tourist accommodation establishments and in rural restaurants which, in both cases, are previously authorised to do so.
With regard to the transit of motor vehicles, the only exceptions are for emergency or fire-fighting services and authorised ecotourism activities.