Thursday, September 23

Castilla y León maintains that it acted “immediately” in the Navalacruz fire and requests the declaration of a catastrophic zone

The Minister of Development and Environment of Castilla y León, Juan Carlos Suárez-Quiñones, insisted this Thursday that “immediate action was taken” in the Navalacruz (Ávila) fire that has devastated “no less than 12,000 hectares”, according to him, and that affects more than 21,000 according to the Copernic satellite surveillance system.

In the press conference after the Governing Council, Suárez-Quiñones described the performance as “rigorous, professional and with a strict protocol and maximum diligence.” Thus, he has referred to the item of time recorded, which shows that it was not minimized “Not at all” the notice and that a “forceful” response was given. The counselor has broken down the calls he received on 112 on Saturday, the day that the alarm that the Board had decreed for the risk of fires in the entire Community began. The first call, he assured, occurred at 10:27 to report that there is a fire in a vehicle. The operator asks about the situation. At 10:29 there is a second call in which the circumstances reported in the first communication do not change. 10.33 there is a second call in which it is not reported that the fire has spread. There is another call at 10.40 in which it is said that a meadow may be lit, therefore, at 10.42 the incident is classified I already like fire from me natural environment and notice is given to the Territorial Service of the Environment of the Junta de Castilla y León. Two minutes later, at 10:44 the helicopter is activated, which leaves at 10:54, (10 minutes is the minimum time to start it) leaves with six combatants and arrives at 11:10. He made up to 20 discharges of water.

What the counselor did not just specify is how the fire risk alarm was decreed, which prevents the operation of agricultural machinery or the carrying out of barbecues, it was not thought that the fire of a car in a gutter and on a national highway that it crosses a mountain range, it was very likely that in half an hour, which is how long it took to act, the fire in a car ignited in the mountains. The key is that the Diputación de Ávila lacks fire stations, and those of Ávila are the ones who act, thinking that they were 30 minutes from the point where the car was burning. Upon his arrival, sources in the park have confirmed, there was no one extinguishing a fire that was burning the vehicle and that was igniting the mountain.

The counselor has specified that “an hour after” the fire was considered to be a forest fire, “there were six aerial means, six crews, a bulldozer and numerous fire trucks.”

In the tasks of extinguishing the fire, which is still active five days later, 1,220 personnel, 39 air assets and hundreds of vehicles have participated. Suárez-Quiñones has described the fire as “extraordinary” for having been generated in a 30-30-30, a scale that indicates the virulence that a fire can reach if there is more than 30 degrees of temperature – on Saturday there were 38-, less than 30% humidity – in Ávila it was 2% -, and winds of more than 30 kilometers per hour – in the area there were gusts of up to 70.

Regarding possible liabilities, the Board’s legal counsel is studying claiming responsibilities from the driver and the vehicle insurance. ; Meanwhile, the Civil Guard instructs a report.

In addition, the Board has agreed to request the Government of Spain to declare a catastrophic zone, and they hope that there will be a quick response. The regional government will shortly publish “a strategy of continued support to the livestock sector” that will ensure aid for forage, food and water for livestock. On the other hand, technicians from the Ministry of Culture are already in the area to visit assets of cultural interest affected by the fire, such as the Castro de la Ulaca. In principle, according to the vice president, Francisco Igea, “they do not seem important.”