Properties can clearly be at risk from forest fires. | Michel's

The recently approved agrarian law established that property owners in wooded parts of the islands will need to create fire breaks of thirty metres width around the properties.

As a fire prevention measure, owners will have to ensure that there is no accumulation of vegetation in this thirty metre perimeter. As well as this, there will need to be clearance of vegetation along tracks leading to properties of a minimum of ten metres width. These measures will apply to all other types of buildings and facilities in forest land.

The environment ministry says that the law means that there will have to be regular pruning and the removal of scrub in order to prevent the spread of fire. The ministry hasn't identified how many properties the measures affect but has made calculations as to the total fire break distance - 2,485 kilometres in Majorca and 4,270 for the whole of the Balearics.

The priorities are the safety of people and protection of their properties in what the ministry describes as the "urban-forest" interface, i.e. where woodland and inhabited areas come together.

The legislation includes a series of provisions related to fire prevention and to restoration in woodland affected by fire. It also enables the government to act if owners don't comply with the fire break requirements.