Ecologists in Action has advocated intervening in the pine forests that have been repopulated and for trying to preserve the true forests to try to reduce the great forest fires (GIF), which are responsible for the largest forest area destroyed and the greatest damage.
In the balance of the fire campaign, the organization analyzes the causes of GIFs. In 2015, the average burned area of the last decade has been reduced by 23 percent, but warns that the number of fires continues to be "very high", close to 10,000 fires, in which almost 73,000 hectares have burned.
In addition, the organization has stressed that in 14 large fires 55 percent of the entire affected area has been burned. In this way, it has regretted that this is a fact that continues to be common in the last decade, in which they have a "very significant role" due to their contribution to the burned surface, environmental damage and risks to the population, in addition to the "enormous" expense of their attention and danger for those who try to combat them.
The NGO considers that in this matter there is something that "hardly anyone has bothered to do to date", which has been to study 60 large fires to obtain a profile of the type of mountain or forest mass most susceptible to these catastrophes.
Specifically, Ecologistas en Acción has concluded that 80 percent of large forest fires occur more frequently in artificial or degraded forest areas, whether derived from reforestation or forest crops (40%) or bush (40%) .
Also, the "dominant" species burning in the GIFs are 60 percent pine trees, followed by 20 percent of different species of scrub, such as heather, broom or rockrose. Specifically, the pine forests produce larger fires despite the fact that there are more cleaning or fire-break actions in them. Meanwhile, in the scrubland fires are usually generated by human action through the use of fire for livestock or agricultural purposes. On the contrary, the mountains that are least affected by large forest fires are, in 12 percent of the cases, those that have true natural forests that are well preserved and little intervened, mainly those populated by species of quercines (holm oaks, oaks or cork oaks).
In this typology, intervention aimed at prevention is much more limited or discouraged, due to the lower vulnerability of these masses to fire, especially due to the conditioning factors derived from environmental protection.
By areas, large fires occur more frequently in the northwest and center of the Peninsula and the least affected areas are the Montes de Toledo, Sierra Morena and a good part of the Cantabrian and Pyrenean mountain ranges, and correspond to large areas of forest. Mediterranean and Atlantic dominated by quercines or other hardwoods.
For Ecologists in Action, good conservation and protection of natural forests is "synonymous with stopping large forest fires." Regarding why the most intervened forests are burned more, the organization sees a sum of contributing factors, in which the large surface area occupied by these masses, their pyrophilic nature and the social conflicts they generate stands out.
Finally, it proposes a set of seven measures to prevent fire, including non-indiscriminate cleaning actions; the greater focus on the reforestation pine forest and scrubland areas or the reduction of these areas in favor of native quercine and hardwood forests.