Troops to be used to safeguard Galician forests against fires

The Galician Xunta and the Ministry of Defense have signed an agreement putting a battalion of troops to work patrolling high risk fire areas across Galicia.

The Army will have 23 patrols constantly on the move throughout the region, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, whose mission is not only to warn of early fires but who have also been given the task of interacting with members of the public to warn of fire risks, and to liase with local police to catch suspected arsonists.

They will be working alongside local police from 32 towns located in Galician forests, and the Army has confirmed that their job is not to extinguish fires, but to warn and avoid them.

Head of the patrol unit, Marcos Lorenzo, told elmundo.es that the “sense of approval and help from the civilian population in the area has been amazing”.

Defense has confirmed that if the fire risk increases they will increase the level of patrols, and have put up to two military helicopters from the Naval Base at the disponsal of the fire watch teams.

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