The Secretary General of Agriculture and Food, Fernando Miranda, has underlined the importance for the Ministry has the management of forest policy in a country that ranks second in Europe by forest area and the third in wooded area and where fires cause devastating effects.
In this regard, Fernando Mirando has pointed out that, although the competences regarding firefighting fall on the autonomous communities, they have the backing of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when it comes to fires that require a greater deployment of fire. media.
The Secretary General, who has presented the campaign to fight forest fires 2019, with information on the means of extinction for this year, its location in the peninsular and insular territory and the development of the campaign, has explained that to meet the needs of the CCAA, the Ministry will tell this campaign with 73 aerial media and about 1,000 professionals dedicated to fighting forest fires, which will involve an investment of 85 million euros.
A human device composed of technicians, pilots, aircraft mechanics, brigade personnel or workers of the Department, of which Fernando Miranda has highlighted his vocation and professionalism to develop his work of prevention and extinction. Some teams, he added, that are operational throughout Spain and can operate throughout the national territory, regardless of where they are located.
The general secretary has also pondered the collaboration of the Group 43 of the Air Force, in charge of maintaining and piloting the aircraft, as well as the work of the technicians of the Operations Center, in charge of the management of the extinction operation, which has advanced technology and allows to have all the necessary information for decision making.
In total, said Miranda, the set of Spanish administrations including the General State Administration and the CCAA invest about 600 million euros a year in firefighting that, if you include other investments in forest management, reach 1,000 million euros per year.
The Secretary General has also had an impact on the Ministry's support to the autonomous communities in the recovery of lands affected by the most severe fires and with the largest burned area, with the aim of minimizing the damage they have suffered, adopting forest restoration measures.
In addition, he pointed out, throughout the year, prevention work is being carried out in Spain, which goes beyond clearing forests and involves investing in forest management. A work in which the Preventive Work Brigades (BLP) are involved in reducing and controlling forest fuels, and the Forest Fire Prevention Teams (EPRIF), carry out training and information to the population.
In this regard, he recalled that to alleviate the exceptional situation caused by the major fires of 2017, 18 actions have been carried out with a global investment of almost 10 million euros, in different areas of the national territory. Thus, he added, they are restoring nearly 60,000 hectares of specially sensitive burned areas.
Fernando Miranda has concluded his speech recalling that 95% of fires have their origin in human action. Therefore, he explained, and to increase the sensitivity of the population, the Ministry will carry out this year a communication campaign in traditional media to increase the level of awareness and responsibility of citizens, through the campaign "For not be the responsible … be responsible ".
In this regard, the Secretary General has stressed that, although 2018 was exceptionally good in terms of forest fires, ending the year with the lowest number of affected areas, it is necessary not to lower your guard and take extreme precautions and urged to act with prudence and respect, to be able to continue enjoying in the future our field and our mountains.