Catalonia closes natural areas and limits activities due to fire risk

by Lorraine Williamson
fire risk in natual parks

BARCELONA – Due to an extreme heatwave and the associated fire risk, the Catalan government, the Generalitat, has decided to close access to seven natural parks with effect from today (Wednesday). 

Activities including making an open fire, camping and playing sports in nature will be banned in 70 municipalities until Friday. These measures were agreed by the Departments of the Interior and Climate Action following a meeting with Plan Infocat after a fire and heat alert was issued. 

Although the restrictions do not apply to all municipalities, Catalan authorities advise caution throughout Catalonia. This is because some 475 municipalities have a very high or extreme fire risk. 

The municipalities concerned are located in the following regions;

  • Alt Camp
  • Alt Penedès
  • Alt Urgell
  • Baix Ebre
  • Baix Llobregat
  • Baix Penedès
  • Garraf
  • Garrigues
  • Montsià
  • Noguera
  • Pallars Jussà
  • Priorat
  • Terra Alta

Which natural areas are closed? 

Several restrictive measures will be taken until this Friday, including closing access to protected natural areas such as Garraf, Montsant, Montmell-Marmellar, Els Ports, Montsec d’Ares, Montsec de Rubies and Baronia de Rialb to minimise the risk of fire. 

Further measures 

In addition, it is forbidden to make a fire in all open spaces, rest areas along the roads, recreation areas and camping areas, even if they are equipped for this purpose. Authorisations for burning pruning residues have also been suspended. As well as the use of machines that can cause flames, sparks or electrical discharges is prohibited. 

Cogesa Expats

Furthermore, the use of fireworks and the disposal or abandonment of flammable materials is also prohibited. All camping, hiking and sports activities in nature are suspended, except if they take place in inhabited areas. 

In addition, restrictions have been imposed on activities related to sports camps, which may only be carried out near the accommodations. 

Furthermore, the use of certain machines, such as leaf blowers and circular saws, is prohibited within a radius of 500 metres from forest areas and within 50 metres of agricultural land. 

The environmental agents have asked the population to be careful near wooded areas, to avoid them during peak risk hours and to call the emergency number 112 immediately if they see smoke or flames. 

In addition, Civil Protection has issued a heat alert until Friday, advising citizens to stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day and hydrate regularly. 

Also see: State of emergency declared in Catalonia amid severe drought 

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