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A fire in Maro GENA
Environmentalists raise concerns over fire prevention measures in the Axarquía

Environmentalists raise concerns over fire prevention measures in the Axarquía

According to GENA-Ecologistas en Acción there are “too many bonfires” in rural areas of Nerja and Maro

Eugenio Cabezas

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 22:14

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Environmental group Gabinete de Estudios de la Naturaleza de la Axarquía (GENA-Ecologistas en Acción), which is based in the Axarquía on the eastern side of Malaga province, has criticised the number of bonfires that are being started to burn agricultural and gardening waste on the Vega de Maro between Nerja and neighbouring Maro.

According to the environmentalists, "just this Tuesday a worrying fire broke out in the Barranco de Maro caused by a spark from a welding machine being used by workers mending a water pipe. This fire could quickly spread towards the Tejeda and Almijara natural park. This accident should have been foreseen and could be considered reckless.”

They went on to say in a statement that in just one morning “up to eight bonfires were seen in the Maro and Nerja areas” and believe that “none of these bonfires respect the Junta de Andalucía’s current fire prevention regulations”.

As well as having to apply for a permit from the Junta de Andalucía, anyone wanting to have a bonfire must follow a series of preventive rules, including burning when there is no wind, ensuring that the fire is a set distance from any flammable material, installing firebreaks and having a minimum of 250 litres of water on hand, as well as motor pumps, fire extinguishers and so on so that a fire can easily be extinguished.

Extreme drought

"It should be remembered that in the extreme drought conditions we are experiencing it is even more important to follow these rule as vegetation is very dry and will catch fire with the smallest spark, as happened in the Barranco de Maro," said the coordinator of GENA, the biologist Rafael Yus.

The environmentalists have called on Nerja town hall "to go to these places and check if they are respecting the rules, especially if there is forest vegetation in the vicinity, such as pine trees, which burn very easily and would spread to the Tejeda and Almijara natural park".

Nerja’s councillor for the environment, Javier Rodríguez, replied that the environmental agents of the Junta de Andalucía in Malaga "have been stripped of their powers to issue authorisations, so until further notice, they will be given by the government delegation, not by the environment delegation".

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