Forest fires in Collserola drop by 75% in summer

07/10/2017 - 09:00


In 2016 there were 32 fires recorded in and around the Collersola Natural Park, while this year that figure has dropped to just eight. The reduction means the surface area affected by fire is 98% less than in 2016, dropping from 26 hectares to 0.51 this summer (equivalent to half of a football pitch). All fires this summer only affected bushes and scrub, rather than trees.

The results for 2017 are the best in recent years, partly thanks to the moderate weather between May and September. The typical summer drought episode has been less extreme than other years and the rain in the first fortnight of August helped prevent vegetation from drying out too much.

The Fire Prevention, Extinction and Rescue Service (SPEIS) actually has a protocol based on constant weather updates and which activates fire prevention resources according to the information supplied. Pre-warnings, which are established according to humidity, wind and temperatures, have been moderate during this summer’s campaign, particularly compared to 2016. Weather pre-warnings accounted for 38% of those in 2016, while critical alerts account for 27% compared to last year.

These favourable weather conditions are complemented by prior analysis conducted by the Barcelona Firs Service, helping to reduce the area affected. During the campaign, measures taken by firefighters include forest patrols to check the condition of tracks and access routes from adjacent neighbourhoods, upkeep of hydrants and preventative watches at various high-risk spots.