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They also request that reforestation is made with carob and kermes oak trees

Friday 19th September 2014

javeamigos.com | JAVEA · MONTGO BLAZE

Residents of La Plana have met with Jávea mayor José Chulvi to express their concerns in the wake of the devastating fire of 11th/12th September which destroyed some 444 hectares of the Parque Natural del Montgó. Many of them saw the flames encroach into their gardens and in some cases approach the doors of their houses as the inferno raged across the open plateau, so they had plenty of questions for the mayor during this special meeting.

Although a representative from the Parque Natural del Montgó was absent - they would be meeting with the residents next week to outline their plans for recovery as outlined by the head of the Medio Natural yesterday - the residents felt that they were able to outline their concerns to the mayor which included the revelation that they had been demanding the effective cleaning of spaces which have now been burnt in the fire for some two years; one resident claimed that they had been prevented from clearing their own plots.

The mayor was told that emergency protocols needed to be reviewed and that effective fire-breaks need to be considered in the recovery plan for Montgó. The residents also demanded that a fire lookout tower be installed in the Cabo de San Antonio zone which should have a permanent deployment of personnel during the drier summer period. They also insisted that the fire hydrant system should be reviewed because, although it worked correctly during the disaster, some of them could not be used due to poor water pressure.

Another major issue that was brought to the table was the concern about poor mobile phone coverage across the plateau. They said that whilst the 4G network technology was being rolled out across the country, there are areas in Jávea which don't even have 2G coverage, areas which include La Plana, and residents feel completely isolated.

Finally, the residents suggested that the reforestation of La Plana be achieved with tree species such as Carob, a xerophytic which is well adapted to the ecological conditions of the Mediterranean region, and the very hardy Kermes Oak, a native of the Mediterranean which is more than capable of surviving in a climate of extreme temperatures and low rainfall. Both are classified as fire-retardent trees which can absorb the heat of a wildfire without burning whilst, if positioned correctly, can also trap embers and sparks whilst reducing the wind speed.

For his part, the mayor informed the meeting that the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia is working on getting the area declared an "emergency zone" which could free funds as soon as possible for clearing work as well as reforestation. He said that municipal officers have been advised to take this measure over other possibilities such as the declaration of a disaster area since there are various parameters which need to be taken into account, such as a minimum affected area of 500 hectares.

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

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

To read about the regional government's plans for the recovery of the area, click here.

javeamigos.com | JAVEA · FOREST FIRE 2014

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