Staff Reporter

THE majority of regions, among them the Balearics, have already approved special rules which will restrict the use of fire in the mountains (for barbecues of agricultural fires).

The rules will also limit the use of motor vehicles in the most vulnerable areas. The aim of all this is to prevent forest fires this Summer.
The Balearic Government has banned the use of fire in forest areas, beaches and sandy places, the burning of stubble without authorisation in agricultural areas which are considered at risk, and the dumping of inflammable objects in wooded areas or within 500 metres of a forest area.

Galicia, the region which suffered most forest fires last Summer, in April approved a law to protect and defend against forest fires. This law prohibits, amongst other things, lighting bonfires in forest areas. It also obliges councils who want to use fireworks to inform the local government at least 48 hours in advance so that each case can be considered on its own merits.

In Aragon, lighting anything in the mountains or for 400 metres around them is banned from April 1. Also the use of motor vehicles in the country is being restricted.

In Andalucia, from June 1 to October 15, a rule will be in force which prohibits any kind of fire in the mountains, driving motor vehicles on dry river beds, cattle tracks, and forest roads and tracks which are not part of the normal road network.

In Extremadura the high risk time for forest fires started on May 28 and will end on October 15. During this period the burning of vegetation and barbecues will be banned, although barbecues will be allowed in recreation areas which are specially prepared for this activity. Fireworks will require the previous authorisation of the Mayor, according to an order from the Minstry for Rural Development.

In La Rioja, the risk period starts on July 15 and ends on October 15. During this period people will need authorisation to use fireworks, and the use of any type of fire will be banned unless the Government specifically authorises it.


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