Heat wave
Society 21/07/2022

Restrictions extended as continued heat wave increases risk of fires

Civil Protection bans camping and hiking in another 82 municipalities and also closes the Montsant and Montmell mountain ranges

ARA
2 min
Agents Rurals deploying one of the signs that prevents the passage inside the Gavarres massif as a result of the entry into level 3 of the Alpha Plan

BarcelonaNever before had the Generalitat activated so many restrictions as it will do this weekend to cope with a heat wave and, consequently, the high risk of fire which will be present in the country. If up until now the measures affected 275 municipalities and nine mountain massifs, the Catalan Government has announced that from this weekend onwards, the fire risk will be higher than ever. The Government has announced that from this Friday until Monday –both included– some activities will be restricted in 11 mountain ranges and 357 municipalities in 27 counties (82 more than until now).

The mountain ranges closed to the public are Montgrí, Cap de Creus, Albera, Gavarres, Montsec d'Ares, Montsec de Rúbies, Baronia de Rialp, Montserrat and Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac, and now also Montsant and Montmell-Marmellar. "This is the largest set of restriction ever in terms of number of municipalities, counties and control of access to natural areas," the Government in a statement.

In affected areas, camping, hiking and sports activities in the natural environment will be banned. As for summer camps, sports stays and equivalent activities, they will not be allowed to leave the surroundings of the buildings where they sleep. The other restrictions are the prohibition of agricultural activities involving the use of machinery between noon and 6 pm, except for harvesting fruit and horticultural products, mowing alfalfa and other grasses harvested green, tilling stubble fields and rice cultivation. Transportation of forest products within woods is also limited between noon and 7 pm, as well as all motorised vehicles in the natural environment of the affected municipalities –only residents and activities that cannot be postponed– are excluded.

According to weather forecasts, this Friday there will be a spike in maximum temperatures with special affectation in the regions of Lleida, Segrià, Urgell and Garrigues, and will remain until Monday, although it will drop slightly on Saturday. Minimum temperatures will also remain high above usual values. Relative humidity will be very low and the atmosphere will be dry in general. As for the wind, it is possible that there may be some gusts in some parts of the coast as well as the Ebro valley and the west of the country. All this means that the risk of forest fires remains at very high and extreme values, especially in the central regions.

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