The deputy director of the Regional Operational Center (COR) of Infoca, Alejandro García, has related how the forest fire extinguishing work declared last Wednesday in Sierra Bermeja in the early hours of this Tuesday, and thanks to the rainfall recorded it has been taken for granted.
– How was the day of Tuesday morning?
–The day began with intense activity at different points of the perimeter, especially in the southwest area, where we had a great intensity of flames moved especially by the shear between the easterly winds and a storm that entered us from the west, which generated great fire activity. This is how it began, but in just over an hour a more intense rain began than was expected by the forecasts, which has radically changed the situation. So much so, that after 3 hours of rain the extinction director decided to consider it controlled, because it was, and not stabilized.
“What flanks are open?”
–None, almost surgical operations are being carried out with only 3 helicopters and their personnel, who are going to finish off the hot spots on the perimeter. At the moment, we are letting what is inside the perimeter burn out and we are making sure to completely finish off the ones on the perimeter that could produce new runs.
– What is the forecast for its total extinction?
-The work of extinguishing a fire like this would normally last for weeks because each and every one of the perimeter meters must be finished off, but the rain will facilitate and accelerate this work a lot, with which the provincial operation, Who is going to take care of it, I understand that it will do it in much less time. If it also continues to rain as it seems, all this reduces the time to determine its final extinction.
– Is it the most serious fire registered in the last 30 years?
– It is not the largest fire or the one that has traveled the most surface. It is one of the longest and most lasting fires, but it is undoubtedly one of the most complicated, if not the most complicated of those that we have had not only in Andalusia, but in Spain in recent times. It has been a fire of very unique characteristics, where the weather forecasts have been systematically breached, and we have seen erratic behavior in some places, explosive in others or deflagrating in some slopes. They are unusual behaviors, even in the big fires that we are used to seeing in our country.
– How are you living it on a personal level?
– On a personal level I am assuming it from the beginning as a challenge, first because it is my job, second because it is my vocation and third because it is my responsibility, but what I feel is of little importance because the operation is a giant team. Yes, I dare say that the involvement of the overall operation goes beyond what our employment contracts ask of us and require of us. It is a true commitment to Andalusian society and to our work.
– How is the pineapple?
-The pineapple is much better than we thought and what logic says it would be. This morning I saw an estimate of Forestry Education published with an affection of around 23%, it is an estimate made through satellite information. My perspective from a helicopter is quite minor. I want to think maybe 10%.
-What message do you send to politicians?
-Yes I would like to ask the politicians in general who try not to do politics with the work of professionals neither in one sense nor in another, because we are also professionals at the service of the managers of each moment and of each site, therefore, that give us that vote of confidence and let us work.
-Many people have come to the Command Post to show you their support …
-I want, first of all honor Carlos, the companion we have lost in this fire, send a hug not only to his family, but also to the two colleagues who have suffered an accident and to the 19 who have probably had the scare of their lives when they had the incident of the helicopter in which they were going to land. I also want to give a very special thanks to each and every one of the citizens who have come to the command post at bring us from slush to water or homemade tortillas, I want to thank the support that the children have brought us from the schools with the drawings, to all the citizens who have sent messages of support through different social networks and I want to show that in such strenuous situations for the operation that really raises our morale . There are many detractors, there are many a priori captains who criticize without knowing the facts. They don’t worry me too much, I don’t listen to them, but they are the same ones who criticize the football coaches or the directors of the work of the big cities. It doesn’t worry me much, but it hurts.