Andalucia still at high risk of forest fires

Credit: Junta de Andalucia

Andalucia is still at high risk of forest fires. The high risk period for forest fires in Andalucia has been extended.

The Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has extended the high-risk period for forest fires in Andalucia until 31 October. Traditionally, this period runs from June 1 to October 15.

The Andalusian Forest Fire Emergency Plan states that, in general, the high forest fire danger period runs from June 1 to October 15.

The medium danger period runs from May 1 to May 31 and from October 16 to October 31.

In Andalucia, the low danger period runs from January 1 to April 30 and from November 1 to December 31.

This can be modified when meteorological circumstances make it advisable.

The measure agreed by the Andalucian government is explained by the high temperatures recorded and the low rainfall accumulated during the summer.

Many areas in the Andalucian community have experienced extremely hot temperatures. Rainfall throughout the summer has also been erratic.

June recorded rainfall above historical average values, but July and August have been normal to dry months. In general, rainfall for the hydrological year indicates a 17% decrease compared to the average of the last 25 years in the Guadalquivir basin.

The lack of rain has increased the flammability of forest fuel and therefore increased the likelihood of large fires.

The Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has opted to extend the high-risk period to prevent, as far as possible, the natural areas of Andalucia from being affected by fire.

Therefore, the restrictions that have been in force in Andalucia since the beginning of June continue to be in force. These include a ban on the use of fire and the circulation of motor vehicles in forest areas and areas of forest influence, i.e. land located within a 400-metre strip around these areas. The restrictions affect both agricultural burning and barbecues, including in recreational areas.

Exceptions to this order are also extended for 16 days, including the preparation of food in children’s camps, the use of distillation boilers, charcoal ovens and barbecues in tourist accommodation establishments and rural restaurants. In any case, all exceptions must have the prior approval of the territorial delegation of the corresponding province and, in the case of barbecues in catering establishments, this must-have prior authorisation.

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]