Minister Mercedes Garrido at Thursday's exercise. | Govern Illes Balears

On Thursday, a simulation exercise was carried out for a level 2 forest fire, one that means serious risk to the public and to property.

It was staged in Son Banya, Palma. There were fifty participants from emergency services and the army's UME military emergency unit. The objectives were: the activation and deactivation of the various agencies and services; the planning and decision-making of different command posts for situations such as the evacuation of large numbers of people; rescue, care and transfer of people affected; and the resilience of the various agencies.

Emergencies such as this are coordinated by the emergencies directorate, which comes under the ministry for public function. The minister, Mercedes Garrido, attended the exercise and stressed its importance so that Mallorca and the Balearics are prepared for saving lives and the natural environment. She took the opportunity to thank the UME for its presence in the Balearics and the work it performs; the UME was vital in tackling the huge fire in Andratx in July 2013.

As well as the UME, the army's general command and the emergencies directorate, those taking part were the 112 emergencies service, the Ibanat agency, the Palma and Mallorca Fire Brigades, the SAMU 061 emergency ambulance service, the met agency Aemet, the Guardia Civil, Civil Protection, Endesa and Red Eléctrica.