The Firefighters will activate the forest fire campaign in Catalonia next week, in which they do not lower their guard despite the “truce” due to the abundant rains of the last few days, which delay the arrival of the most complicated moments and alleviate for now a situation that had set off alarm bells.
And it is that the accumulated drought and the high temperatures of the last three years had led to an extreme situation, to the point that last April forest fires were registered with a propagation speed typical of the stage of greatest risk, for which reason It foresaw a forestry campaign that could become “Dantean”, as indicated by Pepe Pallars, from the technical unit of the Forest Actions Group of the Firefighters.
In fact, as an exceptional measure, the Generalitat has advanced this year the forestry campaign to activate it next Thursday, June 1, and will also extend it until September 30, in anticipation that it could be one of the most complicated summers in the last years.
Without the risk having decreased, especially at the end of June, July and August, the copious rains that have fallen in Catalonia in recent days represent a “truce” that will delay the start of the most dangerous stage by about fifteen days and, above all, it allows us to take a “breath” in the face of a forecast that was expected to be difficult.
In fact, the Firefighters give as an example the fires that have been registered in some parts of Spain in recent weeks -such as Extremadura- or in France, a situation that could have also happened in Catalonia if it had not rained in May.
For this forestry campaign, the Generalitat Fire Brigade will have a total of 21 aerial means of extinction: 5 surveillance and attack planes (AVA), 10 bomber helicopters and 6 command helicopters; as well as a coordination helicopter and four rescue helicopters.
In addition, they will also be able to count on resources from the Ministry for Ecological Transition, such as 4 AVA aircraft assigned to Catalan aerodromes and 6 high-capacity FOCA aircraft, operated by the Air Force, located at military bases outside of Catalonia and assigned in the event of need.
Last summer, a hundred troops from the Military Emergency Unit (UME) of the Ministry of Defense worked on the Artesa de Segre fire, and they have 28 vehicles.
Sources from the Government Delegation in Catalonia reported that there were 45 troops and 14 trucks on the ground.
Another 50 troops and 14 vehicles left from the Valencia base as part of the endowments of the Zaragoza UME, whose area of operation is Catalonia.
In 2021, a fire between Conca de Barberà and Anoia caused the Generalitat to ask the State for help to fight the fire. The Army’s Military Emergency Unit (UME) sent 56 troops and 26 vehicles from the Zaragoza base.
The army device was added to the approximately 300 firefighters who are working to extinguish the fire in Santa Coloma de Queralt. In the fire in the Ribera de Ebro, two years ago, and in the Empordà, in 2012, the support of the UME was already requested.