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Santamaría: "Criticizing the actions of the fire-fighting teams is neither wise nor prudent"

Thursday 18th September 2014

javeamigos.com | JAVEA · MONTGO BLAZE

Luis Santamaría, head of the regional government's Department of Interior and Justice, has accused Jávea mayor José Chulvi of showing "irresponsibility" by questioning the work of more than 400 fire-fighters based on the ground as well as 19 assets in the air who fought to extinguish the fire that affected much of the Parque Natural del Mongó between Jávea and Dénia. In a statement released by his department late on Wednesday evening in response to an extraordinary press conference in Jávea earlier in the day (for a report of that meeting, click here), Santamaría added that it was a mistake by the mayor to congratulate only the local units and said that he wanted to rectify that error by thanking the work of the pilots, brigades, environmental officers, fire-fighters and emergency technicians who were also in the zone battling the flames.

In response the the mayor's claims that local assets were left to fight the fire on their own on Thursday night and during the early hours of Friday morning when the flames threatened the port area of Jávea, Santamaría said that criticizing the actions of the fire-fighting units was "neither wise nor prudent" and claimed that Chulvi was "not telling the truth" about the real situation that night. He also said that it was odd that the mayor of Jávea was bringing up these details five days after the fire "when he never expressed any concern during coordination meetings which took part in the 'Puesto de Mando Avanzado'" - the 'PMA' is the advanced command post that would direct and coordinate the fire-fighting - and said that Chulvi was forgetting his own statements that highlighted the work and rapidity of fire-fighting assets deployed to the area that affected both Jávea and Dénia. He then went on to accuse José Chulvi of being "more concerned about politics than defending his town and his own citizens" and acting "as if he was an expert in the process of putting out forest fires"

The statement concluded with Santamaría recalling the difficult weather conditions that occurred during the night of the fire with high temperatures and westerly winds against which the assets on the ground had to fight until being supported by those in the air as soon as dawn broke on Friday morning. It said that the head of the regional government's Department of Interior and Justice regretted José Chulvi's attempt to question the effort and dedication of the professionals involved in the fire-fighting - "persons in the service of citizens who often risk their lives" - and added that if the mayor hopes to win the election with his statements, he doesn't do so "at the cost of the emergency services".

The full statement from the Conselleria de Governació i Justícia at the Generalitat Valenciana in Spanish is available by clicking

To read about "The Day Montgó Burned", click here.

javeamigos.com | JAVEA · FOREST FIRE 2014

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