Volunteers keep the mountainside safe

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© 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.

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

1 COMMENT

  1. I would like to come in contact with Julia Alvaro and tell her that I’m fighting since the 3 years I’ living in the Comunidad Valenciana against the “quemas” = “open fires”. Last year I phoned just in time to the Police because of the direct neighbour who had started to burn the weeds of his garden in August without even “a quemador” which are the burnes they use! I already had warned the Police that he did it 4 times but they didn’t bother until the 5th time it spread into the other neighbour’s garden!
    These ancestral habits need to be replaced by composting or send to a Recuparation Plant like they do in other Comunidades! Yesterday I saw 10 “quemas” when I went from Alfaz del Pi to Callosa!!! Imagine in mid August! knowing that these last 3 years are the dryest ever and that already fires have destroyed several place in the area! The Eucopean Community has given directives to all european countries ( can be checked in 2008/98/CE article 13) .
    It says: One cannot put into danger health and environment (if you knew that the smoke of these open fires contain SOx, NOx,COVNM,CH4, CO, N2O and NH3 you could understand how bad it is for anyone living in this Comunidad!)
    It also says; one shouldn’t create risk to water, air, soil, fauna & flora, create sound and olfactive harmful effect (if one lives close to these fires one cannot open windows or be out on the terras or in he garden because it irritates your eyes and throat!) It cannot damage the landscape or interesting sites (trees need 20 years to grow back ).

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