Beachgoers were eventually evacuated from Sa Canova beach because of the smoke.


According to a study by geographer Joan Bauzá, Arta has lost more forest to fire than any other Majorcan municipality over the past 30 years. The affected land equates to 5,175 hectares (over 12,780 acres), and the finding has led the town hall to set up mechanisms through which it hopes that the public will help in preventing fires. These are in addition to the annual island-wide campaign against forest fires.

The town hall has established a rapid response system when there is notice of infringements that could cause fires, as occurred in the area of Es Caló early in the summer. There was evidence of "bad practices", which led to intervention.

There have been various reports of illegal fires on natural beaches in the municipality. In this regard, the local police took action on Tuesday against people camping at Cala Torta who had lit a fire. Last week there were bonfires being let by people sleeping on beaches.

Arta has historically had a problem with forest fires. This was a particular issue in the 1980s, after which the town hall led the way in seeking to raise public awareness. Despite this, there is the finding that it is the municipality most affected by fires. It is seeking to raise awareness again, and it perhaps needs to. In the space of two days there were two fires in the forest at Sa Canova near Colonia Sant Pere.

The second of these, which broke out on Wednesday afternoon, was more serious than the one of the day before. It claimed almost 23 hectares of forest and required additional air firefighting support to be brought in from Valencia. Although the centre of the fire was well back from the sea, beachgoers were evacuated on Wednesday because of the smoke.