All town halls in the Balearics were warned yesterday that the risk of forest fires is extremely high this weekend as temperatures are forecast to rise. The warning was issued by the director general for natural spaces and biodiversity, and the ministry for the environment stressed the need for vigilance and prevention and called on all organisations to avoid any incident which could spark a fire and pose a threat not only to the environment but also local residents and holidaymakers.
Local authorities were urged to be extra vigilant last night, the eve of Sant Joan, and to make sure that people are prevented from breaking the law and lighting camp fires on beaches or in wooded coastal areas. The lighting of fires, dumping of ashes or the use of any potential combustible items is banned between 1 May to 15 October. Ignoring this could result in hefty fines or even jail.
After a relatively dry winter and with this summer forecast to be hotter and longer than usual. the risks of forest fires are extremely high, according to the ministry. Moreover, humidity levels are relatively low and vegetation is highly combustible. Town halls have also been reminded that with the summer fiestas coming up, fireworks are not allowed unless they sought permission at least six months ago and that all the necessary health and safety measures are taken.
This year the number of members of the Ibanat nature agency has been increased and investment in firefighting equipment has been increased in view of the threat posed by the hot summer. More spotters are going to posted in densely wooded areas, and the general public is being called on to immediately report anything suspicious to the police or local council.