Rural abandonment, which is the main cause of fires in Spain, according to experts

The great rural migration since the mid-20th century is the main cause of the devastating fires that have devastated Spain.According to experts this Consider it a mistake to focus efforts on extinction rather than prevention..

The abandonment of rural activity meant the colonization of fields by uncontrolled or neglected growing forests. and in many cases places that cannot be taken care of because they are in protected areas such as national parks or nature parks.

According to the PEFC-International head of forests, “There will always be fire, and the more trees we have, the more risk there will be. The abandonment of rural areas due to lack of profitability has led to the recovery of many forests.” Eduardo Rojas, certification body and dean of the College of Forest Engineers.

According to you, pretending there is no fire is “unrealistic” and blaming them only for climate change means not wanting to see the truth, because Spain regularly suffers from heat waves and periods of drought due to its climate. “Climate change is the accelerator but not the cause‘ he claimed.

Most fires occur indoors, in areas with a lot of abandoned grass burning at high speed because it is too dry from the high temperatures, and in unpopulated mountainous areas with a lot of land. transition to the forest.

Moreover, “time bombRepresenting poorly managed forest-urban interface areas where forest and city meet, especially on the Mediterranean coast and in cities such as Madrid.

“In these heavily populated and residential areas, a fire will distract many basic ways of fighting wildfires,” he warned.

very severe fires

Again Spain is one of the countries with one of the best fire suppression systems in the world., the fires are so fierce because there is so much fuel and they exceed three to ten times their technical capacity, according to Rojas.

A large cloud of smoke fills the sky at O ​​Courel in Lugo. EFE / Eliseo Wheat


after thinking about it The best medicine would be to change the way you manage the area.regretted that there was a lot resistance to clearing or knocking down a treethat’s exactly when forests are free of fuel-equivalent biomass.

Extraction of biomouse will allow Spain to reduce gas imports by 10% to 15%but unfortunately, “everything is an obstacle“, because some think it leads to deforestationactually because the trees were burning “because I don’t dare to admit it” reason to be abandoned“.

this rural migration caused too many regions with dpopulation density is lower than NeolithicAccording to Rafael Delgado, engineer and president of the Valencia Forestry Platform, In the Valencian countryside alone, an average of 9,000 agricultural hectares per year are abandoned.about half of it is covered with forest.

This gives an idea of ​​the increase in forests that are growing not only externally but also internally, becoming denser and therefore more fuel-intensive.

Forests are denser and wider than ever before from the Neolithic period in Spain due to population decline“and in many cases they are not properly managed due to barriers to bringing activity to protected areas.

Returning activity to the field

The management of the fires is entrusted to the extinguishing services, which, although those in Spain are considered among the best in the world, exposed to fires far beyond their capacity, that is, “reckless”.

Fire fighting work. pixabay


According to Delgado, “The problem will continue to get worse if the way the region is governed is not changed.” the best way to prevent fire would be to return activity to rural areas. and managing resources and going to the countryside on the weekends by thinking of “the people living there, not the city dwellers”.

“They don’t want to face it and we continue with the broken record. overprotection. “We protect the land, but not the communities that live in it,” he said.

It’s not about the absence of protected areas, it’s about protecting them in some other way. “Rural economy needs to be producedand I’m not talking about photovoltaic installations and things like that in cities that have a negative impact, I’m talking about creating the conditions for that. return the activity to the field‘ he pointed.

Source: Informacion

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