AFTER the horrendous wildfires which wreaked such terrible devastation across the Costa Blanca North this summer, measures are finally being taken to ensure that the region is properly protected in the future.
Almost €1 million will be invested in the Denia fire-fighting unit to fund staff recruitment and training, especially relevant given the advancing age of the workforce. Significant funds will also be invested to ensure a coordinated wildfire response across the Marina Alta, and particularly in Javea and Benitaxchell.
The Valencian authorities came in for severe criticism for their response to the blazes, which destroyed dozens of homes and forced mass evacuations. Firefighters had to pay road tolls out of their own pockets on some occasions and senior officers have openly criticised the abhorrent lack of funding.
The emergency funding comes amid other substantial investments for the region after a government taskforce toured some 33 towns and villages requesting citizen feedback on key priorities.
Around €3 million extra will be directed from the regional government to fund essential projects in the Marina Alta. Chief among the concerns are revamping dilapidated roads and pavements, improving street lighting and renovating sports facilities.
Javea alone will receive some €2 million of the funds and authorities are also considering a complete overhaul of tourist trails in the region to enhance their safety and encourage more visitors.
In Altea, undergrowth is already being cleared from Altea woodlands and countryside as the local Fire Prevention Plan gets underway.
The €50,000 initiative has commenced in the Sierra de Altea urbanisations, where vegetation will be cleared and trees thinned out in zones close to homes.