by Staff Reporter
JUST hours after being officially presented, the new fire fighting helicopters and planes were called out to a forest fire raging in the Puig de Sant Marti in the Port of Alcudia.

This year, the government's fire fighting department will have a fourth helicopter, for Ibiza and Formentera, and co-ordination will be improved.
Balearic environment minister Jaume Font said yesterday that the objective of the improvements is to “respond as quickly as possible when a fire breaks out.” Its prevention and extinction campaign, which started yesterday and will continue until September 30, will cost 4.5 million euros.
There will be two co-ordinators, one of whom will supervise work from the spotter plane, while the other will be based at communications headquarters at the Balearic Nature Institute (Ibanat).

Other improvements include extending theshifts of the brigades who man the helicopters, improvements to the base in Ibiza and the purchase of a water tanker for extinction work, as well as 480 fire fighters.

Font said he hoped the improvements meant that this season would be better than last, when 70 percent of the fires were caused by man. “It all depends on the climate and if someone wants to cause danage,” he said.
The presentation took place in the morning and the fire in Alcudia broke out at about 5.30pm and two planes and two helicopters were sent out because access was difficult.

They were backed up by a spotter plane and firemen on the ground.


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