SIERRA MARIOLA has thousands of fallen pines, a further risk in an area where fire is a constant threat.
Lack of personnel and the extent of the damage inflicted by Storm Gloria last January has delayed removing deadfalls, apart from those blocking paths and roads.
Gales, blizzards and rain blew down thousands of trees in the Sierra Mariola national park, especially near Alcoy and Agres.
National park employees began removing the trees in January but thousands more still litter the forest floor.
The park’s director Salvador Palop said that clearing roads and tracks had been a priority to provide access for vehicles, including those that might be needed for emergencies.
But many trees remain. “At the time we asked for more staff, hoping they would be included in official help for repairing storm damage,” Palop explained. “In the end, it wasn’t possible.”
Deadfalls in the sierra were not abnormal, the park director added, but as they dried out, they also increased the fire–risk.
“We would like to have done more, but simply do not have the resources,” he said.