Spain takes action to stamp out forest fires

Monahan, J.
September 1991
New Scientist;9/21/91, Vol. 131 Issue 1787, p18
The article reports on action that is being taken by Spain to reduce the amount of forest fires. Up to August 25, 1991, according to the European Commission, fires destroyed 201,000 hectares of Spanish woodland, compared to 118,000 hectares in neighbouring Portugal, 63,000 hectares in Italy, 7550 hectares in France and 2187 in Greece. Recent surveys show that a majority of Spaniards believe that many of the fires of uncertain origin are the result of arson, and prompted principally by land speculators. In response to the recent spate of fires, Andalusia and Valencia in the south and southeast, and Galicia in the northwest, are planning laws to prohibit building on former woodland damaged by fire until 20 to 30 years after it has burnt down. A new law has also been passed which makes arsonists liable to fines of up to 2.75 million pounds.


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