The Andalusian Forest Fire Fighting Service – Plan Infoca – has decided to carry out a “strategic and temporary repositioning” of the aerial resources that form part of the operation in view of the high risk of fires due to the heat wave. This is an extraordinary measure adopted after the meeting held by the regional operational director and director general of Natural Environment, Biodiversity and Protected Areas, Guiseppe Aloisio, with the heads of the Regional Operational Centre of Infoca.
As explained by the regional operational director, the repositioning of aerial resources will reinforce the protection of those areas where the risk of forest fires is higher as a result of the high temperatures that will be recorded in Andalusia, where the thermometer is expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius.
In view of this new heat wave that will affect the Andalusian community, Aloisio has called for “maximum precaution and responsibility” on the part of all citizens to avoid situations of risk. The Infoca Plan has asked all citizens to take extreme precautions in Andalusian forest areas. “We can all contribute to preventing fires and protecting our extraordinary natural heritage,” emphasised Aloisio, who pointed out that an information and awareness campaign has been launched on the main social networks, through the profiles of Infoca itself and the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development.
In this regard, the Infoca Plan reminds that any sighting of smoke or flames should be reported to the emergency services through the single emergency telephone 112 to, in this way, cooperate in the implementation of the extinguishing operation as quickly as possible from the detection of the fire. It is important to give a location of the fire as close as possible and, in the case of sharing information on social networks, to geolocate the photos and indicate the time they were taken. These details help to know in advance the possible scenario that the activated means will encounter.
In the previous heatwave, recorded between 11 and 17 June, the Infoca device undertook a total of 48 actions spread across the eight Andalusian provinces to deal with forest fires of varying severity and, to a lesser extent, agricultural fires.
High risk period
During the high-risk period for forest fires, which runs from 1 June to October, the use of fire and the circulation of motor vehicles is prohibited in Andalusia’s forest areas and areas of forest influence, i.e. land located within a 400-metre strip around these areas. With regard to fire, the prohibition includes both agricultural burning and barbecues, including in recreational areas.
Exceptions to this order, which must always have the prior approval of the territorial delegation of the corresponding province, include the preparation of food in children’s camps and the use of distillation boilers, charcoal ovens and piconeo. Barbecues may also be held in tourist accommodation establishments and in rural restaurants which, in both cases, are previously authorised to do so.
With regard to the transit of motor vehicles, among the few cases considered as exceptional are, for example, the use of right-of-way, emergency or fire-fighting services and authorised ecotourism activities.