As far as forest fires go, there is the rule of thirty: + 30ºC – 30km winds and humidity below 30 – that’s what Gúéjar Sierra had on Sunday.
The result, of course, was an Infoca call out just after midday to tackle a forest fire in the area known as Maitena River in Güejar Sierra – many will know the area because of the restaurant down in the river with that name, Maintena restaurant.
Infoca threw most of their assets at it because you have to catch a fire in the early stages if you want to stop it growing so large that it takes days to put out, destroying valuable flora, not to mention endangering people’s lives who live in the country side.
Fifty-five fire fighters and four aircraft as well as a fire truck were immediately deployed. The air assets were the land-based, single-engine, water bomber (AT – 802) known as the Air Tractor (it was designed for crop spraying), a Russian-made, heavy, counter-rotating-rotors, helicopter (Kamov Ka-32 / Mi-8) a personnel transport capable of deploying an underslung water bucket (LA-4 / Bell – 412) and a Super Puma AS-332). There was also a light aircraft (Cessna 337 – G) used by the Fire Coordinator to direct resources over the fire.
By 14.15h the Hazaballas road had been closed to traffic and access to farmhouses and farms denied.
The Mayor of Güéjar Sierra, José Robles, accompanied by a bigwig from the Environmental Department of the Council watched anxiously as the fire-extinguishing operation unfolded because the area contains many oak trees, which are the heart of rural tourism in the municipality.
Municipal workers abandoned their Sunday rest and turned out to help whilst hostelry businesses and individual locals provided bread rolls and cool drinks for the Infoca personnel.
(News: Guejar Sierra, Vega de Granada, Andalucia – Photo: Ramón L. Pérez)