Monday, August 8

The provisioning of the fire-fighting operation in Castilla y León generates a new controversy that the Board denies

The Junta de Castilla y León denies problems in the provisioning of the brigades fighting forest fires, reiterated through social networks in recent days and that already occurred during the past fire in the Sierra de la Culebra in Zamora that burned more than 25,000 hectares. Images of small sandwiches and complaints about the scarcity of water have been produced individually but reiterated by groups such as Forest Firefighters in Fight or the association of environmental agents Apamcyl, who criticize the logistics of the firefighting operation in Castilla y León, which only this Friday had to act in 35 fires, 7 of them serious.

A forest firefighter published a tweet in recent days in which he explained what he received during one of the localized fires: a sandwich with five liters of water for the seven-person brigade. The text has gone viral in recent days being used as an example of the situation of the regional operation, information that sources from the Ministry of the Environment brand as “false”.

The heat wave has led to an extreme situation in the operation to fight the fires in Castilla y León, which since the fire in the Sierra de la Culebra has raised the tone of its criticism of the Government of Castilla y León, focused on the minister of Environment, Juan Carlos Suárez Quiñones, and the regional president, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, as heads of the same.

The Junta de Castilla y León has responded to the wave of criticism with a video posted on its forestry information website, Naturaleza CyL, which has been responded to by groups such as Apamcyl or Forest Firefighters in Fight denying their version. The Ministry of the Environment replies that the distribution of food and drink “is guaranteed” from the provincial command centers and the advanced command posts that are set up in the most serious forest fires, 7 in the last hours in the territory of Castilla y Lion. According to the regional government, some type of “specific” problems may occur and that the Red Cross or local Civil Protection services are used for the distribution of the latest fires.

Regarding the contributions of the affected municipalities and volunteers, the Board assures that it welcomes any collaboration but that “in any case” they guarantee access to food and drink for the operatives and their different shifts.

Some of the criticism received by the Junta de Castilla y León refers to delays in supplies and meals based on sandwiches for many days in a row. The Apamcyl association reiterates that a large part of the provisioning “is thanks to the residents of the towns and the leaders of each team who look for water at fountains and gas stations, paying for it out of their pockets so that people do not die of dehydration.”

Sources from the Autonomous Government consider that part of these criticisms are due to an “orchestrated” campaign on social networks against the Junta de Castilla y León and the Ministry of the Environment.

Castilla y León is facing a dozen active fires this weekend, eight of them of great magnitude. On the morning of this Saturday, the Board has reported that the fires of Monsagro, in Salamanca, and Navafría, in Segovia, are at level 2 of danger, while those of Navalonguilla and Cebreros, in Ávila; Paradaseca, in El Bierzo; Candlemas, in Salamanca; Figueruelas de Arriba and Roelos de Sayago, both in Zamora, are at level 1. All the provinces, with the exception of Valladolid, have some focus, as reported by the Board in its last part.

About a hundred residents of the towns of Monsagro and Guadapero continue in the shelter set up in Ciudad Rodrigo to welcome those evacuated by the fire that devastates these municipalities of Salamanca. The residents of Morasverdes have already been able to return to their homes.

Since this Friday, four people have been injured by the fires, two of them forestry workers due to smoke and one affected by a fire in their home. The last one, an environmental agent from León who had an accident on the road when he was carrying supplies to the Páramo del Sil fire. According to the Board, he has been treated in an ambulance and is already at home.

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