Volunteers keep the mountainside safe

© Jose Carlos Castro Flickr.

A team of around 1,700 volunteers are monitoring the mountains of Alicante Province in order to prevent and, if necessary, detect any forest fires.

Around 1,500 people devote their efforts to monitoring, while nine teams made up of some 200 people collaborate on fire extinguishing tasks after passing training courses.

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Their participation and work seems more necessary this year than usual, since the lack of rain has led to the mountainous areas being in a dangerous state of extreme dryness. As a result, the Consell has increased the budget for fighting forest fires by 21 per cent this year in the whole of the Valencia Region.

Within Alicante Province, there are 856 people engaged in this work, including firefighters, along with 122 workers distributed across 18 units. They work on monitoring the forests to detect any potential hotspots, and these troops are ably assisted by the small army of volunteers who help monitor and fight fires.

The Consell said that even though they are volunteers, they have all passed the necessary training.

They also added that it is a “priority” for the government team to break new ground and create more forest tracks to allow firefighters to reach a wildfire in the fastest possible time.

Regional secretary for the environment and climate change, Julià Alvaro said that whilst it fits into the plans of the Ministry of Environment to improve access in the mountains, it is “complex” work that requires “complicated infrastructure” and that it is a long term project


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