Palma.—Majorca was hit hard with a major fire in Andraitx less than two weeks ago, and the group wants authorities to come up with better urban and forest management plans, saying that barbecue areas and houses in or near the forests only increase even more the risk of new accidents happening again. “The priority during a fire is always to protect the people and the houses. “But sometimes it's better to fight the fire from other areas and because there are people in danger fire brigades cannot do so.” The group says that this could bring “important costs to the local flora and environment”. “To allow urbanisations to be built near forests and woodland, can create a lot of damage in terms of fires and its consequences,” they said.
They also reminded that houses in forests must, by law, “have certain prevention measures in place,” such as a fire break without any type of vegetation between the house and the forest as well as a good access area for fire brigades to do their job should an accident occur.

GOB explained that the number of fires happening on the islands is still around the same number as 30 years ago, although they are now being dealt with much quicker. “When it comes to putting a fire out, our work has improved considerably but in terms of prevention we are still stuck in the same place.” Forests in the Balearics are very dense and the group wants the government to come up with a prevention plan that not only makes it easier to contain fires but that also “respects and allows the natural growth of the forests and woods”.

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