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Ramping up of wild fire defences

BRAÑUELAS, SPAIN (AFP) – Garbed in red protective overalls, the soldiers worked doggedly to create a firebreak during a firefighting exercise in northwestern Spain, the European nation hardest hit last year by wildfires.

In a forested area of Castilla y Leon, a sprawling region northwest of Madrid that is prone to blazes, troops from the Military Emergency Unit (UME) were battling an imaginary disaster.

“What we’re doing is widening the firebreak, so that when the fire reaches it, there’s no fuel,” head of an engineering unit based in the area Captain Adrian Vives, told AFP as he oversaw the exercise.

They were finishing training ahead of the wildfire season, which runs from mid-June until the end of September, said Vives an expert with the UME, which works with firemen to tackle the biggest and most risky fires.

Such support is key in a country which last year suffered nearly 500 wildfires that destroyed more than 300,000 hectares, the worst figure in Europe, according to data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).

It is a worrying situation for a country that is on the frontline of climate change, suffering more frequent as well as intense heatwaves and increasingly irregular rainfall.

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  • winnie nguru

    51 w

    There ought to be a permanent solution, however this is commendable

    • monicah mbesu

      51 w

      what they did was amazing

      • Komu Daniel

        51 w

        Good job though we need to find a lasting solution.

        • Annett Michuki..

          51 w

          they did a good job

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