BARBECUES and open fires are now banned across Andalucia until at least mid-October in an effort to prevent devastating fires in the region.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has announced that from today, June 1, to October 15, the use of fire—both agricultural burning and barbecues—and the transit of motor vehicles in forest areas is prohibited.

All barbecues are banned within 400 feet of woodland and forests, and includes designated barbecue spaces at public campsites.

Some tourist establishments, restaurants, and educational camps are permitted to have fires and barbecues, but only with a permit from the local town hall.

The high temperatures recorded in Andalucia in recent weeks, especially between May 16 and 22, have increased the water stress on vegetation and increased the risk of forest fires. Consequently, the ban will be strictly enforced with regular police patrols in public spaces to check for fires and barbecues.

INFOCA (Andalucia’s forest fire unit) has already tackled a total of 138 forest fires this year, which has seen 1,360 hectares burnt, of which 296 hectares were woodland areas and the rest scrubland.

The Junta asks that in the event of any sighting of smoke or flames, the emergency services should be alerted by calling 112.

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