Forest firefighters on strike as Spain burns

AN INDEFINITE strike by Spain’s elite forest firefighters started on Monday July 27 as fires raged out of control in various parts of the country.
The forest firefighting force, Las Brigadas de Refuerzo en Incendios Forestales (BRIF) are striking over working conditions and low pay, receiving a salary of €16,000, which they say they cannot survive on. Earlier in July, they held a three-day strike and they have been negotiating with TRAGSA, their employers and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment but no progress has been made.
Fires are currently raging across Spain, with a large wildfire in Odena, Cataluña, which has destroyed more than 1,000 hectares, still active and several more in the north of the country leading to evacuations, destroyed property and farmland.
Another two fires are burning in Galicia, with the army called in to help in Navia, and on Sunday July 26, there were 11 fires burning across Spain, including in Andalucia, Cataluña and Galicia. The abnormally high temperatures in Spain in July this year means the fire risk is extremely high with no significant drop in temperatures forecast in the near future.
Elsewhere in Europe, France is also facing major wildfires with evacuations taking place in Bordeaux and Frejus on the Cote dÁzur where 10,000 people had to evacuate the area.

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