AN extra 2.2 million euros is to be invested on helicopters and planes to fight forest fires in the Islands.
The Minister for the Environment, Miquel Angel Grimalt, said 4.6 million euros would be spent on helicopters over the next two years, an increase of 80 percent. An extra 100'000 euros will be spent on planes during the same period, an increase of 10 percent.
Grimalt said the money would go towards modernising the fleet so that there would not be any aircraft older than 10 years in service.
Previously, some aircraft were up to 30 years old.
We are permanently at risk, said the Minister, and we have to be prepared.
Last year there were 114 fires affecting 123.94 hectares, a relatively low figure according to Grimalt, who added that a fire can happen at any time.
Grimalt added that he extended the period of maximum risk, during which the aircraft are at their maximum readiness, from May 1 to October 15.
The Minister said that citizens played a vital role in preventing fires, as many were started through imprudence or deliberately.