The annual forest fire campaign in the Balearics yesterday received a 424 million peseta cash boost from central government. Although the Balearic Minister for the Environment, Margalida Rossello, announced last year that due to the continuing drought, the Balearic forest fire fighting units will be on stand-by throughout the year, the fire fighters move up to red alert during the summer. This summer the Balearics will have the support of a “Gavina” light-plane which will be used as a spotter plane and to co-ordinate fire fighters on the ground when in operation. Minorca, Majorca and Ibiza will each receive a new fire fighting plane with both Majorca and Minorca each having a helicopter permanently based on the islands. This year the budget for the Balearic forest fire operation is 30 million pesetas greater than last year. The new light aircraft and helicopters will become part of a sizeable forest fire fighting unit. The Insular Council of Majorca already operates its own helicopter during the fire season and the Canadair plane is based in the Port of Pollensa along with three smaller Dromadair planes at Son Bonet airport near Palma - so this summer, the islands will be well prepared.

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