Palma.—Last year was one of the worst for forest fires in the Balearics for the past 20 years with Ibiza being hit particularly badly with two of its worst bush blazes in history which led to hundreds of residents and holiday makers being evacuated from their homes and hotels and thousands of hectares of wood and scrubland being destroyed. As of today, all camp fires and BBQs are banned and any body caught flaunting the laws will be severely reprimanded.

Any one wishing to light a fire within 500 metres of woodland, such as farmers wishing to burn off crop stubble for example, will also need to secure permission
Yesterday, the Balearics government called on the general public to be “extremely careful” over the next six months, stressing that public cooperation is vital in the battl against forest fires.

Apart from being responsible when out and about in potentially high risk areas, the public also has an important role to play in the detection of fires and anything suspicious should be immediately reported to the emergency services by dialing 112.

Even if it results in being a false alarm, the emergency services would rather be in a position to establish that as opposed to leaving things to chance.

Last year, there was also an increase in the number of fires in or near residential areas, such as in Calvia and this year, while the fires fire fighting teams have extra equipment, the emphasis is going to be on prevention and trying to get fires under control before they get out of hand.

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