Sunday, April 14, 2013

Permanent helicopter base needed on La Gomera

With the dry season beginning now and last year's disastrous fires still fresh in our memories the need for a helicopter to be permanently stationed on La Gomera is obvious. The island's government has called once again for the granting of same, as new figures released show that over the past 30 years nearly 1000 fires were fought on La Gomera of which just ONE was due to natural causes, the remainder was caused by humans acting irresponsibly or by arsonists. Given the orographical conditions on La Gomera which leave many areas very difficult to access, a permanent helicopter is essential not only for the rapid intervention in case of fire but also as an air ambulance. La Gomera is the only Canary Island that does not have a helicopter based on the island, and precious time is lost when aircraft have to be sent from neighbouring islands. La Gomera is home to one of the most unique and precious forests in the world which deserves all the protection it could get. During the period from 1995 to 2000 a helicopter was based on La Gomera and as result the extent of fires was greatly reduced.
Meanwhile local pressure group 'La Gomera Se Mueve' ('L.G. on the move') are criticising the local governments' measures to restore the areas affected by last year's fires as haphazard and insufficient and are asking if the officials that allowed the fires to get out of control by their lack of action or their incompetence should now be left in charge of the remedial works ?
A helicopter permanently based on La Gomera is needed now.

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