Palma.—The Minister of Agriculture and the Environment, Biel Company, yesterday reported that 74 fires have destroyed 151 hectares in the Balearics so far this year.

Company revealed the figures before yesterday morning's meeting with the emergency and security forces as the authorities set about their investigation into the cause of the spate of fires which have hit Majorca since the beginning of this week. “Now, what we've got to do is sit down and share all the information we have in order to establish what caused these fires and, if in the case of any of them being caused on purpose, gather all the information we can about possible suspects,” the Minister said.

Yesterday afternoon, it was confirmed by the Ibanat forestry commission that the Xorrigo fire in Algaida which led to the Manacor road being closed and caused serious disruption to flights at Palma airport on Tuesday, was finally out after having destroyed 25.3 hectares.

But, the battle to extinguish the fires in Son Caliu, which broke out on Monday, and the one in Ibiza continued although sources said that fire services were confident that they should both have been out by sunset.

The Son Caliu fire had been brought under control on Thursday but putting it out was proving a challenge, especially because of yesterday's breeze.
However, the fire only destroyed 32 hectares of pine forest and not the 65 as initially reported by the forestry commission.
But, while Company met emergency and security chiefs to scrutinise what has exactly happened over the past week, a number of minor fires broke out in Majorca.

Another broke out near Son Veri, where a fire, one of the alleged intentional ones, started on Wednesday in Lluchmajor, although that was quickly dealt with.

After the meeting Company said that all of the information gathered at yesterday's meeting will now be handed over to the public prosecution service for further investigation while central government has been approached with regards to boosting the Balearics' fire fighting potential with a long hot summer forecast.

In the meantime, the fire services and forestry commission will remain on full alert.


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