© AVSA 2011-2018           Version 15.4.18s  02 November 2018

Fire

RULES ON BONFIRES (and BBQ’s) IN SUMMER STRAIGHT FROM THE FIRE BRIGADES MOUTH! I asked them straight out what the rules are for bonfires. (Hogueras) They categorically state that you cannot have one at all, at any time or any day or in any conditions in an area deemed "forestal". Don't be fooled into thinking this is just a forest area! I asked him, pointing to a big field full of olive trees, in the campo, if that would be classed as forestal and he assured me it certainly would. So you can gather that if you are in an area with a good few trees or an orchard for example this would probably be classed as forestal. This rule applies from the 1st June to 15th October. NO exceptions! (This also applies to BBQ's - coal/charcoal or gas!) In non-forestal areas/urbanisations/campo etc the rules are very simple. You MUST have a "permiso" for a bonfire from your town hall. This will involve a special section of the Guardia Civil (GC) coming to inspect where you intend to have it and if you have safety precautions in place. This involves a hose pipe/s and a cleared piece of land where you intend to have the bonfire, together with a further area of cleared land to stop it getting out of hand. You are NOT entitled to have a bonfire without this permiso. Failure to have a permiso can result in HUGE fines. If you do get a permiso and your bonfire gets out of hand the permiso becomes void and not only do you have to pay a fine for letting it get out of hand but you also have to pay the emergency services costs for having to come and put it out. Also with a permiso, if it is breezy/windy and you have the bonfire alight, the permiso becomes void and if reported you will get fined. Now on to the reporting! They were in NO DOUBT that the first people you call is 062 - Guardia Civil and NOT 112. Why? Because 112 is for ALL emergencies and centralised for Andalucia in either Seville or Madrid, he could not remember. 062 puts you through to the Guardia Civil and THEY are responsible for going out to check the bonfire/fire and then activate the relevant services i.e. Bomberos/INFOCA/BRECA etc. The also check for any permisos. The GC are the only ones who have the authority to fine people who have illegal bonfires whilst the 112 services cannot issue fines. 112 will attend an emergency via the Guardia Civil but it's the GC who have the authority to fine. On the subject of BBQ's they said certainly NOT in an area forestal until after the 15th October but until then the local by-laws of the village/town/city would apply and you would have to find them out through your local ayuntamiento (Town Hall) They did say though to think very carefully before you had one! Is your area likely to catch fire with any flying embers/sparks etc? If so then don't do it!! They was basically saying what we had all been saying yesterday - if in doubt, don't!!! I asked them if they thought all bonfires should be reported to the GC. "Absolutely" was their reply!!! They said if you see either a fire or a bonfire it was better to be safe than sorry! They said you can tell the difference between a bonfire and a fire in most cases. Bonfires normally have a column of smoke (can be black, grey or white depending on what is being burnt) however fires tend to have plumes of smoke and you can possibly see flames. Again the colour of the smoke can vary between black to white. So be in NO DOUBT folks! The bomberos would prefer you to report any bonfire or fire to the GC on 062. They said exactly what we were saying - don't think someone else will do it because they may not!!!!! This has been reproduced with the consent of Jill Leonard of the Costa Blanca Fire & Weather Watch who's group can be found in the link below. https://www.facebook.com/groups/costa.blance.fire.weather.watch/
This is from the authorities on forest fires. It clearly states call 112 or emergencies. The guardia civil number is really only for local bonfires which are not out of control. If anyone sees a fire which is out of control, no matter where it is, they need to call 112. It is free and multilingual. It supersedes any information on local bonfires