Forest Fire Awareness Campaign

Forest Fire Awareness Campaign

The president of the Balearic Government, Margalida Prohens, and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment, Joan Simonet, visited Son Bonet airport, in Marratxí, this week as the 2024 campaign to prevent and fight forest fires begins.

Forest Fire Awareness Campaign

A total of 350 people, including staff from the Balearic Institute of Nature (IBANAT), the Forest Management Service and environmental agents, who together make up the Inter-Island Operation against Forest Fires (OIIF ). Active throughout the year, the OIIF reaches its maximum deployment during the warmer months from April 15 to October 15.

The president noted that this year there have already been a total of 42 forest fires that have burned almost 70 hectares in the Balearic Islands. The most serious was the s’Albufera fire, which burned up to 50 hectares of reeds just two weeks ago.

In this year’s campaign are five bomber helicopters (with the capacity to transport firefighters) and three planes (two amphibious and a surveillance/coordination plane). Two more aircraft will reinforce and complement operations – a cargo plane on the ground in Son Bonet and a Canadair, already operational in Pollença, Mallorca.

Technological and operational improvements have been implemented, most of them due to a new contract recently awarded. This means a new amphibious aircraft in Mallorca with cargo capacity at sea, which allows greater effectiveness of the attack against fire, and the installation of new land surveillance cameras against fire with 360° vision, among others.

Prohens — who thanked “the great and essential work” carried out by the entire team that is part of the inter-island forest fire operation — recalled that “more than 90% of the causes of forest fires are of human origin; Therefore, it is essential that the population takes extreme precautions against fire to prevent a disaster of this nature from affecting our islands.”

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