The amount of land burnt is by far the highest in the region in the last ten years
The current drought conditions in Spain, after a drywinter and little rain in the spring, lend themselves to a rise in forest fires.Although summer is not yet here, there have already been numerous blazes in theAndalusian countryside. Between January 1st and May 28th there were a total of483 forest fires and 928 hectares of country land were destroyed, according tothe Department of the Environment. The figure is, by a long way, the highest inthe last ten years.
Jaén suffered the greatest number of outbreaks – 143, of which 119 weresmall and affected less than a hectare of land. Over 91 hectares were destroyedin the remaining blazes. This province was followed by Huelva, with 126 fires,37 of which were serious, burning a total area of 420.4 hectares. The provinceof Granada was in third place, with 55 fires and 106 hectares burnt, followed byMalaga, with 40 blazes and 48.8 hectares affected. The number of fires and thesurface area of land destroyed was smaller in the remaining provinces.
Of the total number of blazes, 236 were considered to have been due tonegligence, 131 were cases of arson, three were accidental, one had a naturalcause (lightning) and the remaining 112 were classified as being due to othercauses, which include unknown and in the process of beinginvestigated.
Among the intentional fires the motives range from the creation of orimprovements to pasture land (25), the destruction of vegetation (26), vandalism(14), vindictiveness (six) and in the interests of estates for hunting (three).