FOREST fires in Spain have devastated almost 301,000 hectares since January this year according to estimates by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), tripling 2021 figures.
Malaga itself has suffered two major fires this year; one in Sierra Bermeja and another in Mijas, both in July, which between them devastated more than 15,000 hectares.
In order to forestall such devastating fires from raging through the countryside, forest fire prevention work has begun.
The fire prevention work, coordinated by Malaga City Council ‘s Environmental Sustainability Department, has been awarded to the company Perica Obras y Servicios S.L. for €150,000.
The main preventive forestry works to be being carried out include: the opening of new firebreaks to help slow or stop the spread of low intensity forest fires in peri-urban areas (zones of transition from rural to urban land) that do not yet have them, fuel-reduction by clearing plant materials and short shrubs, which are often the most inflammable, the creation of auxiliary strips and clearing work by eliminating weeds, fallen and dead wood or rubbish present in the forest etc.
These preventive actions constitute an essential and constant task that determines the behaviour and propagation of the fire in the event of it occurring.
Other actions that have been implemented include thinning to improve the growth of the best trees and pruning to to prevent the spread of fire from the ground to the crown.
This work will be carried out in various natural parks near Malaga City such as: El Polvorin forest area, El Atabal, San Anton, El Retiro, Lagarillo Blanco, El Morlaco and Hacienda Clavero, among other forest areas.