Fire- Montgo Residents Association meeting . Oct 2014

Report by Gail about a meeting of the Montgó residents accociation concerning the Montgó fire:

Oct 2014

Thanks for another excellent meeting organised this morning by APMJ - - Our Mayor Javea Mayor Jose Chulvi and Doris Courcelles came and brought Montgo Residents up to speed with information about the Montgo Fire and the aftermath, plus what comes next.

It was extremely informative and it was good to have some of the more unfortunate (and negative rumours) squashed, emphatically.

The mayor expressed his huge appreciation of the amazing ground support from the Civil Protection, police and our own Volunteer Bomberos (Balcon al Mar) who held the fort and the fire back from Javea with minimal help from the key Regional and National emergency services that should have kicked in quicker. He is outraged that Javea volunteers and services had to fight the fire on our side of the mountain on their own for so long. As you will have seen elsewhere the mayor has placed several denuncias about the delayed response that caused a roll-on delay in attendance. This is ongoing and still being pursued. He spent 36 hours on la Plana - he said it was the most awful experience of his life to see the fire, the speed it moved and the devastation it left in its wake.

There were lots of questions and answers about the fire - in essence - the cause of the Fire is still under investigation, pines will not be replanted on the Montgo ( though some will reseed naturally, they hope to control it). They are taking advice from the expert botanists / biologists over the next few months, but the general consensus so far is to nurture low-growing, native Mediterranean plants that do not grow so high or pose such a threat.

There is a lot being done towards prevention, but the bottom line is that if you are aware of vacant waste ground or deserted /abandoned gardens which have not been safely cleared then it is important to create awareness of the problem with the correct authorities - if the owner is not contactable or is ignoring the problem - the first course of action is to raise an Instancia with the Town Hall, so that they can check out the problem and, if any action is required, track down and advise the owner of any work that should be done to improve neighbourhood safety.

The priority over the next year is to clear the dead vegetation away, remove any remaining damaged pine trees, treat the area for pine beetle infestations and make sure that none take hold (as once they start, they spread quickly). This will allow surviving plants to start the process of healing the mountain, naturally.

It is also very important to repair the terraces before the bad winter rains hit - this is necessary to stop soil movement / erosion).

As an aside, once everyone's questions about the fire and the recovery had been answered, I asked if they would be conducting any archaeological surveys whilst the land was so exposed (especially as the fire was along the ancient coastal walkways and tracks that have been in use for thousands of years carrying traffic between Denia and Javea). Apparently there has already been a start made on this and new information has already been found to add to our knowledge of how the Montgo was used and occupied in the past.

(from forwarded e-mail)

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