A mountain of a problem for Puig Campana

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(Fernan79)
PUIG CAMPANA: Pines not affected by bark beetles.

FINESTRAT has requested more resources for Puig Campana.

Approximately 80 per cent of the mountain which dominates the Marina Baja lies within Finestrat’s boundaries. Despite Puig Campana’s protected status, Finestrat mayor Juan Francisco Perez reproached the regional government for not solving problems caused by the tomicus or pine bark beetle.

The beetle, first detected in Alicante Province two years ago, breeds and lays eggs under the bark of dying or recently-killed pine trees. After emerging, these eat the shoots of healthy or weakened pines, resulting in loss of foliage and increased fire hazard.

This risk is ever-present as recent fires in Beniarda and Callosa recently demonstrated, together with a minor blaze on Sierra Helada that was extinguished before it could spread. According to the region’s Environment department, Puig Campana is not specifically affected by bark beetles and was included in general measures applied throughout the province.

Inspections in 2015 and this year have detected only isolated cases of dead pines affected by drought, the department said. Finestrat’s concerns are not limited to the bark beetles, the mayor revealed.

The town hall is having to clear and maintain the area without help as the Generalitat’s Vaersa brigades have not been seen on the mountain for some time, he claimed. The Environment department disagreed, replying that they are operating “as usual.”

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