The councillor for the Environment and Territory, Miquel Mir, and the director general of Natural Spaces and Biodiversity, Llorenç Mas, visited the Caimari commune in Selva on Thursday, where the Forest Management Service is carrying out environmental restoration work on the forest habitats affected by the storm “Juliette”. This is one of the emergency actions being carried out since April as part of a management commitment to the company TRAGSA for a total amount of 540,085 euros, which has so far enabled the environmental restoration of an area of 25 hectares in the municipalities of Fornalutx, Escorca, Felanitx and Selva.
Mir announced that this week he had signed a resolution that allocates a further 1.3 million euros to the restoration of the damage caused by Juliette. “In this way, we guarantee that there will be a budget until at least 2025,” he said, recalling that “from day one the ministry has been working uninterruptedly in the areas most damaged by the storm.
Initially, the available IBANAT brigades were put at the orders of the Directorate General for Emergencies, working mainly on opening up the affected road network. Once normality was restored to the roads, IBANAT assigned between 60 and 80 people to the most affected sites, working on an area of 55 hectares, including the Caimari-Lluc road, the most affected recreational areas and their surroundings, and the streets that cross the public estates of the Serra de Tramuntana. As of 1 May, the IBANAT brigades focused on the forest fire-fighting operation, while TRAGSA, as its own means, continued the restoration work, which is expected to restore a further 20 hectares in addition to the 25 already carried out.
The new management contract will focus on four priority areas: defence strips and critical points, removal of affected trees within forest habitats, prevention of forest pests and the setting of traps and monitoring of the affected forest mass. It is planned to act on an area of about 100 hectares.
Mir pointed out, however, that beyond the 200 hectares planned in total, it should be borne in mind that, from October, the IBANAT brigades will be able to return to recovering part of the forest habitats affected by Juliette. The councillor thanked “the enormous effort and professionalism of all the workers”.
Mir pointed out that all of the planned works are generally located on public properties or on private properties that, according to the 4th General Fire Prevention Plan for the Balearic Islands and the corresponding County Plans, have critical points, fragmentation network roads or fire prevention strips. On the other hand, as he pointed out, the owners of affected estates can benefit from subsidies from the Serra de Tramuntana Consortium and those that FOGAIBA is expected to process.
Finally, Mir lamented that “once again, the State is not responding with the necessary speed” and called on it to respond once and for all to the request for the declaration of the island of Mallorca as an area seriously affected by a civil protection emergency, approved by the Consell de Govern on 13 March.