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Palma.—Yesterday morning, the Balearic Minister for the Environment, Biel Company, visited one of the areas hit by the fire, Coll de sa Gramola along the road between Estellencs and Andraitx, to witness the work being carried out by a group of 100 volunteers and personally thank them.

Since the fire first broke out on 26 July destroying over 2'300 hectares of the Serra de Tramuntana, volunteers to help clear the fire damage have been flooding in to the various environmental and government agencies and yesterday, 100 volunteers divided up into groups of ten, in special protective clothing, braved the heat and began clearing two areas of the Sa Gramola estate.

Stone walls

Working under the instructions of Andraitx Civil Protection, the Government's Forestry Protection and Management Service and the Tot(s) per sa Serra Commission, the volunteers have started cutting down and clearing away burnt trees so that the reforestation work can eventually begin with the planting of new trees and shrubs.

Some of the volunteers with the relevant experience have been tasked with rebuilding the old stones walls damaged by the fire while others have already begun planting plants in special plots in order to create allotments to encourage the growth of flora and fauna which will serve to keep the earth tightly packed together and not crumble.

Yesterday, the group of volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life cleared just over two hectares of torched woodland.
The authorities will be organising the groups of volunteers every Saturday for the foreseeable future while engineers and the forestry commission will be working throughout the week on repairing the damage caused by the fire which took 18 to extinguish.

After the Summer recess, central government is going to be called on to declare Andraitx a disaster zone and will secure extra funding and material for the clean up operation.

But, in the meantime the authorities are going to be boosted by volunteers working from 9am to 2pm every Saturday.

Want to help?

And, all of the newcomers will be given a short health and safety briefing by members of the forestry concision and the Civil Protection department before starting work.

For those who are interested in helping Majorca recover from its worst environmental disaster ever call 900151617, visit totsperserra.caib.es or email pia@dgqal.caib.es.