Helicopter tackling a fire in Santa Margalida. | Alejandro Sepúlveda

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The government is looking for some land in the north of Majorca that can be used as a heliport and be a permanent base for Helicopter firefighting crew. The maximum budget for the land is 200,000 euros, and bids for the tender are now being invited. There is a month for them to be made.

This facility is considered to be vital for dealing with forest fires and it would serve Minorca as well as the north of the island. There is at present a temporary site in Petra and there was previously one in Capdepera, but the government wants something permanent.

The environment ministry has been searching for a suitable site for some years but it hasn't had sufficient support from town halls, one in particular. In 2013 there was a plan for a heliport on the Son Real finca, but Santa Margalida town hall objected on the grounds that it would have an impact on flora and fauna. Last year there was another proposal in Santa Margalida. This was for the land where the new water treatment plant is planned. Disagreement between the town hall and the government led to that idea being abandoned as well.

The main base for helicopter firefighting is Son Bonet. The temporary base in Petra has one light helicopter and that's all.