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Primary cause for concern is to combat soil erosion during the autumn rains

Thursday 18th September 2014

javeamigos.com | JAVEA · MONTGO BLAZE

This morning Jávea mayor José Chulvi and his counterpart in Dénia Ana Kringe met with Salomé Pradas, the director-general of the Generalitat's Department of Natural Environment, to hear details of the first report by the regional government's Ministry of Infrastructure, Planning and the Environment into the first measures that will be developed to restore the areas damaged by last week's fire in the Parque Natural del Montgó.

She explained that the first actions were focusing on preventing soil erosion, especially as autumn tends to bring the high risk of heavy rainfall during the months of October and November with the ravines of Malonda and Loma de Castañar on the Dénia side and the area immediately above the port of Jávea and extending towards the snout of Cabo de San Antonio at most risk. Therefore, work will begin almost immediately to take emergency measures to combat the possibility of this erosion by repairing the walls of old terraces, building retaining fences on the slopes and promoting a network of natural drainage.

In addition, work will be carried out for the treatment and if necessary the removal  of trees from the damaged forested area, especially in the inhabitated zones as well as the repair of tracks that will be necessary to carry out the planned work and for the restoration of normal communication.  The director-general said that badly-damaged and burnt trees close to lines of communication such as roads, tracks and paths can pose a safety risk and will need to be removed. The report also considers the possibility of repairing the margins of the terraces where it is a priority to reduce erosion as well as installing troughs to promote the establishment of wildlife to help the regeneration of the area through the dispersal of certain fruits.

The work will have an initial budget of 175,000 euros and will target those areas which are at the greatest risk from erosion and degradation as well as areas used most by residents and visitors, such as the recreational area of La Plana and the paths which lead out to the cliffs and viewpoints on both the northern and southern flanks of the Cabo de San Antonio. Roads and tracks will also receive priority attention as a matter of safety.

With the onset of autumn, these works will be carried out as a matter of urgency following technical assessments but the Ministry of Infrastructure, Planning and the Environment is already preparing a report about the implications of the blaze and the proposed actions to be taken in the short, medium and long term. It will address the effects of the inferno on the vegetation and wildlife as well as the likely impact on the soil whilst looking at the possibility of zoning the area according to the expected capacity for regeneration as well as assist with the recovery plan.

Pradas explained that reforestation of the affected area cannot be done immediately since there needs to be an assessment period of at least a year to observe the behaviour of natural regeneration in the area. The characteristics of the Mediterranean vegetation needs a suitable period of time to have its degree of recovery assessed and then additional measures can be taken if they are necessary. She added, however, that the Ministry aims to strengthen the maintainance team of the Parque Natural del Montgó to assist with the recovery of the protected space in the shortest time possible.

Finally, the director-general announced that her department has laid the foundations of improved communication with residents affected by the fire, especially in the urbanisations of La Plana in Jávea and Les Rotes in Dénia. After the first meeting which will explain all the measures that have been proposed and is scheduled for next week, there will be fortnightly meetings with these residents to keep them informed of the progress of the recovery work. During these gatherings, residents can make known their concerns to the team of the Parque Natural del Montgó.

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

To read about mayor José Chulvi's assessment, click here.

javeamigos.com | JAVEA · FOREST FIRE 2014

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