Forest fires on the increase across Spain
21 March 2005, MADRID-Spain has suffered 1,460 forest fires in the first two months of this year -642 more than the year before.
21 March 2005
MADRID-Spain has suffered 1,460 forest fires in the first two months of this year -642 more than the year before.
The Spanish environment ministry issued the figures from a report which said it needed to strengthen measures to stop forest fires.
In 2004, forest fires in Spain destroyed 100,000 hectares of land across the country.
The report says last year Spain suffered the highest number of forest fires and lost the largest land area to these blazes since 2002.
In that year, 39,788 hectares were damaged by fires in the first two months, compared with 11,716 in the first months of 2005.
At the weekend, there were 100 small fires in various parts of Spain.
The most dangerous were in the north of Spain, in Asturias.
But rainfall prevented these from getting out of control.
However, so far this year, two people have died in forest fires, one in Alcorisa and Teruel, and the other in Veracruz in Huesca, both in eastern Spain.
The Spanish environment department said between 1961 and 2003, the country has lost 7.8 billion euros due to the cost of forest fires.
The loses are mainly due to agricultural land lost to crops which were burnt or damaged.
The loses have steadily risen in the past 25 years, the worst year being 1994, when forest fires cost the Spanish economy 19.2 bn euros.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news