The mijas forest fire He has been active for four days now, although for the first time good news is beginning to arrive from the Advanced Command Post. Since Friday Local Police, Civil Guard, land and forest firefighters and even Civil Protection and Red Cross volunteers have been on the move to try to stop this tragedy, which has already devastated around 2,000 hectares and caused the precautionary eviction of approximately 3,000 people. Daniel Banasco He is the Fire Chief of Benalmádena and one of the members of this emergency operation.
This veteran firefighter from Benalmádena has 14 years of service behind his back and since Friday he has been focused on stopping this forest fire together with the rest of the components of the operation. “Forest fires are the direct responsibility of the Junta de Andalucía in our community through the Infoca Plan. Fire Services are required by 112 Andalucía Emergencies, in general for the protection of urban areasand the propagation of these forest fires to the forest-urban interface, clarifies and takes advantage of to resolve the possible doubt of confusing the urban firefighter with the forest: “The “urban” Firefighters, to differentiate ourselves from the “forestry”, have multidisciplinary skills, although the specialty and coordination corresponds to Infoca, who have excellent technical and human resources in Andalusiaand more so in our province”.
This current Fire Chief had it clear since he was 14 years old and defines himself as “willing, dedicated, committed and faithful to my job“. Characteristic features in the fire department, that is why since the phone rang on Friday it was not difficult to manage the team, quite the opposite: “For this fire we have had to incorporate Rest Firefighters. Most of the firefighters were immediately offered and made available“. Although it is not his direct competence, he anticipates, as is already known, that the fire is beginning to be controlled: “The current situation is improving, although it is still active at different points, the important thing is to avoid the threat to the population. Without a doubt and sometimes it is necessary to practice technical fire, I have experienced this in this fire and although it may seem aggressive, it is strategic to bring complex areas under control”.
In a society that is beginning to worry about and recognize the importance of mental health, Bañasco is honest: “I do not identify fear as any of the sensations we experience, but if we keep in mind the proportionality of our actions with the effectiveness to assess, To what extent should we risk the staff?“. It is impossible not to remember the family in a situation like this: “It is the most complex part of keeping it under control, because for example in my case and in that of other colleagues, we receive WhatsApp from our children telling us “be careful dad and come home soon””. It is inevitable, “an irremediable family tension is experienced, knowing that those of us who work on foot, we are more directly exposed to fire, although we work in safe areas with planned escape routes. A little heart or a fleeting photo sent are enough to calm anxiety of the family, which generates having us in a fire of this magnitude”, acknowledges the fire chief.
Regarding the fire, “the experiences of this fire are diverse, but none of the sensations is being pleasant. From the first minutes of the fire, we were working on the probable starting point, and we saw how disproportionate to our capacity the fire advanced with speed northwestward. It is true that the Buena Vista de Mijas urbanization was saved in the first few hours”, acknowledges the veteran Fire Chief, who admits that in a few minutes resources began to arrive and to position themselves in a strategic and coordinated manner, “although nature can sometimes“, he warns.
Of course, the feeling of frustration made an appearance during the first days, as he relates: “It is very difficult to digest that decades of years of growth of our forests disappear before you. Most of the area on fire did not reach the treetops, but we have seen grouped animals fleeing from the flames, such as 8 boars with their 4 boars cross before us.” Despite his experience, Bañasco acknowledged his admiration for the brave young people of the town who wanted to collaborate with the sole objective of not seeing the Sierra de Mijas disappear: “We have the resources to deal with the fire and the help of many selfless people who contribute what they can to facilitate our work. Last night we were surprised by a group of 19 young people from Alhaurín el Grande with tools in hand. Ready for any task entrusted to them! Worth admiring and thanking, it says a lot about the solidarity and commitment to the environment of the citizenry.” Although he regrets that they had to deny his help: “It’s a shame that For securitywe cannot integrate these volunteers into the work teams, but they did preventive tasks on the roads.” He also acknowledges that he would be taking a risk if he gives a figure of the troops working on this fire: “In the fire that we are currently dealing with, the number of troops is changing depending on the time slot, day and situation of the fire”. While acknowledging that from the barrier there are other colleagues waiting to be claimed: “The Fire Services of the province are all activatedRC Firefighters of Malaga, Provincial Firefighters Consortium, Firefighters of Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Mijas and Marbella. We are a single work team coordinated by the Advanced Command Post of the Malaga Provincial Fire Brigade Consortium, which in turn links with the Infoca WFP”. Lastly, he acknowledges that in a fire of these dimensions more resources are always lacking, but at the acknowledges the following:An excess of resources can block the permeability of the roads, the air space and even clog. A fire, among other things, needs time to organize, coordinate and act effectively and efficiently.” And it sends a message to all those who only request resources through social networks: “We may think that in these cases all available resources should assist. , but we must not forget that other simultaneous emergencies occur that must be addressed”. In fact, “in Benalmádena in the last three days we have attended 11 interventions not linked to this forest fire”, he says.
Daniel Bañasco is one of the thousands of people who collaborate to put out the Mijas forest fire, some troops who will continue to lead this device to defeat this threat as soon as possible. His only goal.