MEMBERS and employees have announced protests and are gathering signatures to prevent the closure of a shooting range in the Montes de Malaga where a huge forest fire broke out last summer.
Although negotiations had been underway to try and save the range, which has been running since 1972 and has approximately 800 members and five employees, the Junta de Andalucia regional government has declared the case closed and ordered the Andalucian Olympic Shooting Federation to have the facility emptied and hand over the keys.
The fire broke out in August 2014 and eventually reduced about 200 hectares of forest to ashes and the Junta maintains that the flames spread due to a lack of maintenance on the part of the range management.
Yet the federation insists that the licence for the facility, which was issued more than 40 years ago, was renewed for another 10 years by the Junta just one year before the catastrophe and absolutely no requirements regarding fire prevention measures were given, leading the management to assume nothing needed doing.
While the centre was closed in June and the order now seems a serious one, members and employees and started collecting signatures on www.change.org and are considering carrying out protests to try and have the decision reversed.