By Anna Ellis • 15 June 2022 • 16:27
Parque Natural de las Lagunas de La Mata and Torrevieja. Credit Wikimedia
The fire in May 2021 which affected the natural park of Lagunas de La Mata-Torrevieja (Alicante), and forced the eviction of several homes in the El Limonar housing estate, was caused by the negligence of four youngsters.
Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of the Guardia Civil carried out the investigation, in which they determined that the cause of the incident was the burning of some reeds – “ignition by direct application of the flame to the reeds”.
The report does conclude that there was no “intentionality” on the part of the perpetrators, who were identified and who, being under 14 years of age, are not liable to prosecution.
The recklessness of the youngsters forced the mobilisation of “around 50 firefighters” from different fire stations throughout the province. Two helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft worked for about six hours to control a fire that spread rapidly and threatened homes, which were protected and evacuated.
The flames devastated an area of palm trees as well as abundant grassland, 10 protected hectares.
The regional secretary of Emergencies of the Generalitat Valenciana, Jose Maria Angel, has requested “maximum measures of prevention, precaution and prudence” to all citizens.”
“The hand of man is behind 80 per cent of fires,” he added.
Much of the country is currently in extreme pre-emergency level 3, which means that it is forbidden to light any kind of fire. The only places designated for fires may be used, and embers must be extinguished, cigarette butts must not be thrown away and rubbish must be collected in natural areas.
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Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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