THE Junta de Andalucia has invested a cool €171 million into its fire fighting and prevention department (Infoca Plan) in preparation for the upcoming fire season.
With a dry summer predicted, the Junta wants to prevent another record breaking year of forest fires.
Much of Andalucia is dry scrubland, making it particularly vulnerable to fires which can quickly become out of control.
Almost 12,000 blazes were reported in 2019 amid 20-year high temperatures.
To help combat the threat, the Junta has launched Extinción de Incendios 3.0.
The project aims to improve equipment and better train personnel in the fight against forest fires.
Some €18 million will bring updated specialist equipment and replace most of the 25-year-old fleet of SUVs with newer models.
Nine brand new heavy duty fire fighting trucks have also been added to the existing arsenal, along with 19 water pumping vehicles.
Better GPS equipment will help locate and track forest fires, as well as improve the safety of workers who are often battling flames in remote areas.
Meanwhile, the purchase of three new aircraft will bolster Infoca’s existing fleet of 39, and its workforce will add another 332 firefighters.
More than 24,500 hectares of forest have received fire prevention treatments in the run up to fire season.
The Junta has also shared its gratitude for over 1,300 firefighters who have been mobilised in the fight against COVID-19.
Infoca has been using its firefighting equipment to disinfect the streets of Andalucia, distributing 836,000 litres of disinfectant so far.