ALICANTE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL is handing out €1.4 million this year to municipalities to produce and execute forest fire prevention plans.

It’s a 290% budget rise in the wake of last summer’s La Vall d’Ebo blaze that caused so much devastation.

The executive’s environment spokesman, Miguel Angel Sanchez, said: “Care and protection of the environment is fundamental which is why we have called for new plans and will fund the recovery of areas damaged by last year’s forest fires.”

The money is split into two- firstly for drafting a local prevention plan, which will be for work done by two southern municipalities, Algorfa and Granja de Rocamora, with the bulk of the cash going to 60 areas to help put their plans into practice.

This includes the maintenance of forest tracks and approved trails that allow access to water supplies to extinguish blazes, as well as being used as an escape route for walkers.

Money will also go to the repair of fire-prevention and extinction infrastructures such as water pipes, tanks, water hydrant networks,or surveillance points.

Measures include conserving defence lines in firebreak area, the removal of damaged or diseased trees, cleaning and pruning, waste shredding, and the maintenance of agroforestry crops.

For example Alcoy gets €17,857 for the conservation work on the road to Les Llacunes, and similar amount for installation of a water hydrant network to stop fires spreading in the Mas de la Cova area.

Meanwhile, Pego will receive €17,874 for checking and maintaining the state of its hydrants.


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