The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has moved to Coordination Center for National Information on Forest Fires of the Ministry, from which the entire operative of air, land and human resources that are sent to the Autonomous Communities is managed to support the work of its personnel in the extinction of forest fires.

A center with advanced technology to gather all the necessary information for decision making, which already has 60 years of work and with experienced professionals who, from June to October, are in operation 24 hours a day.

The minister has reviewed with the technicians the activity of the center at the beginning of the summer campaign, in which the Ministry has 73 aircraft of different unloading capacities including 4 unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), 10 Brigades of Reinforcement against Fire. Forestry (BRIF) formed by about 600 people, including technicians, foremen, specialists and physical trainers and a peripheral device formed by 100 professionals who perform functions of head of the bases. In total about 1,000 people, including technicians, pilots and aircraft mechanics, staff of forestry brigades, Ministry workers and other support.

Planas has been able to view the images sent by the coordination and observation aircraft (ACO), with which the Ministry counts, in its actions in the recent fires of El Arenal in Ávila and Torre de l'Espanyol in Tarragona, which serve as aid in making decisions to the advanced command of the autonomous community with which it collaborates.

The minister has put in value both the work of the technicians of the Coordination Center and the extinction device that develops its work in response to the requests of the CCAA, and has highlighted the work of the Forest Fire Reinforcement Brigades (BRIF). An elite force with great mobility, stressed Planas, whose work is less visible, but whose role is fundamental in the proceedings, and deserves all social recognition.

International cooperation

During his stay at the Coordination Center, the minister was also able to watch a video, made in collaboration with the European Commission, on the work of extinction from the air. A field of cooperation in which the Ministry participates, within the RescEU Transition program, with 2 amphibious aircraft, to reinforce the support capacities of the Member States to countries that suffer forest fires, under the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

In addition, it has dealt with the mechanism of cooperation with other European countries to which air means are sent, responding to their requests for help, such as Greece or Portugal, during the past year. With this last country, we also collaborate through training activities.

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