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Rapid-reaction plan activated as Andalucía faces higher wildfire risk this summer

The Infoca plan has more resources this year.
The Infoca plan has more resources this year. / J. L .P
  • The regional government has allocated 169.6 million euros this year and has increased personnel and equipment at Infoca

Fire is the greatest threat to the woodlands of Andalucía and the risk this year is high because of the lack of rain during the winter and the high temperatures expected this summer.

The Junta de Andalucía's wildfire protection plan, known as Infoca, is now being put into effect to prevent and deal with forest fires, 50 per cent of which are started by humans, either through negligence or deliberately.

This year 169.6 million euros are being invested in this plan, which is 2.1 million more than last year, and 36 more fire fighters have been employed, bringing the total to 4,462 over the whole region.

The fire-fighting resources also include 42 planes and helicopters, including two amphibious planes which can each carry 5,500 litres of water.

The fleet of fire engines has also been modernised with the addition of 32 new vehicles.

New logistics centre

The regional government is also planning to build a new Forestry Defence Centre in the mountains of Cazorla, in Jaén province, at a cost of four million euros. Each of the eight provinces of Andalucía has a logistics centre of this type.

The Infoca plan also includes medical units to attend to fire-fighters on the ground, and this year for the first time a nocturnal drone will be used to spot and monitor fires.

The region has been on maximum alert since 1 June, when a ban on bonfires and barbeques in the countryside came into force. This ban is expected to last until 15 October but can be extended if the dry conditions continue. The Junta is warning people to be very careful, and to ring the 112 emergency number if they see any forest fires.