Andalusian Regional Government calls for extreme caution in view of the high risk of fires

Andalusian Regional Government calls for extreme caution in view of the high risk of fires
The Infoca 2023 Plan has a total of 473 personnel, 15 heavy vehicles and 4 aerial resources.

The delegate of the Government of the Junta de Andalucía in Almería, Aránzazu Martín, chaired the meeting of the advisory committee of the Infoca Plan. At this meeting, she recalled that the fire-fighting system brought forward the start date of the High Danger Season for forest fires to 16 May. Traditionally this period started on 1 June. Martín also recalled that the burning of plant remains and the use of fire for the preparation of food is prohibited until 15 October.

The government delegate said that these measures have been approved because “despite the fact that we have forecasts of some possible rain in the east, the dry spring and high temperatures are not giving any respite”. However, he pointed out that “they can come to nothing if citizens become the necessary collaborators”. For this reason, he called on the public to “act responsibly when they are in forest areas, avoiding acting negligently, and calling the 112 emergency telephone number if they see any smoke or flames”.

Martín stressed that “we have foresight”, and explained the increase in the Plan Infoca budget for 2023, “reaching 223 million, 27% more than in 2022”. Of these, 98 million will be for extinction, 22 million for the infrastructure modernisation plan and 9.5 million for reforestation and restoration of large fires.

In addition, Martin said that “cooperation is more necessary than ever given the adverse weather scenario of these first months of the year, with a general deficit of rainfall, with seven of the last eight months far exceeding the drought threshold and with high temperatures”. It should be noted that last April had an average temperature 3.9º C above average, making it the warmest month since 1961.

“Circumstances that make us foresee that we are going to have an early summer in which the vegetation will be exhausted from the hydric point of view, practically without humidity, and in a permanent state of availability in the event of a forest fire”.

What’s new for the 2023 season

These new features join those already announced in recent weeks, such as ‘EsAlert’ or “reverse 112”, as Sanz defined it in his speech. This is a tool that allows mass messages to be sent directly to the mobile phone of the population affected by a serious fire that must carry out a measure such as confinement or ordered evacuation in two languages (Spanish and English).

Along the same lines, for the second consecutive year, another very important tool will be available for geolocating 112 alerts: the Advanced Mobile Phone Location (AML) system. Thanks to AML, the 112 manager who answers the call has the exact coordinates from which the emergency call was made.

Therefore, as in every campaign, 112 will once again be the reference telephone number to call. It is worth remembering that last year the emergency managers dealt with a total of 21,728 calls related to agricultural forest fires, 661 of them in the province of Almería.

Actions up to 12 May

In terms of the number of forest fire interventions in the province of Almeria in the period from 1 January to 12 May, 48 have been recorded, of which 35 have been attempted fires and 13 fires. In terms of the area affected in forest land, we are talking about 191 hectares, of which 189 hectares are scrubland and 2.90 hectares are woodland. Of these, 79% were due to negligence, 10% were intentional, 2.08% accidental, 4.1% due to natural causes and another 4.1% are still under investigation.


The main infrastructures of Plan Infoca in Almería are a provincial operational centre, as well as the CEDEFO in Serón, the one in Alhama de Almería and the one in Vélez Blanco. There is also a ground loading aircraft runway in Gérgal, and eleven fixed surveillance points.

A total of 473 personnel are assigned to the fire-fighting service, of which 63 are administrative staff, 396 are from the AMAYA company, and 14 are personnel from aerial resources companies. The material resources team is made up of twelve fire-fighting vehicles, two fire engines, a mobile meteorology and transmissions unit, as well as three transport and extinguishing helicopters and a cargo plane on the ground.

The Government delegate thanked the work of the Andalusian Emergency Group (GREA), “which has managed to reinforce the logistical and coordination capacity through the installation of the Advanced Command Post for forest fires”. She also acknowledged the work of the National Police Unit attached to the autonomous community, which has among its functions the protection of the natural environment.

Finally, the Government Delegate praised the work carried out by the Civil Guard, the Military Emergency Unit, Civil Protection volunteers and local police in Andalusian municipalities, the Spanish Red Cross, firefighters and the Provincial Fire Consortiums. All of them are an important part of the Plan.

The meeting of the Infoca Plan was also attended by the Delegate for Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy, Manuel de la Torre, the Delegate for Development, Housing and Territorial Planning, Carmen Belén López, the Emergency Coordinator and the Deputy for Finance, Álvaro Izquierdo. The Guardia Civil, the Regional Police Unit, the Military Emergency Unit (UME), as well as representatives and volunteers from Civil Protection, DGT, and Local Police of the Andalusian municipalities, the Spanish Red Cross, fire brigades and Provincial Fire Consortiums are participating and collaborating in the Infoca Plan.


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