Forest fire drill in Vallvidrera

The operation involved 19 land units from Barcelona City Council’s different emergency services, along with a drone service, with between 30 and 40 members of the Barcelona Fire Service taking part. Drills like yesterday’s enable all parties involved to put into practice and optimise existing action protocols, with local people getting first-hand experience of what to do if a fire starts near their home. In these situations, the first thing to do is to call 112 and provide as much information as possible.

06/05/2023 09:24 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The Barcelona Fire Service organised a forest fire drill yesterday at Mas Sauró, a nucleus of homes in the Collserola mountain range belonging to the neighbourhood of Les Planes (Sarrià – Sant Gervasi).

The exercise began at 6.30 pm with a call from a local resident (aware of the drill), who reported a fire at the edge of the housing area. From then on, various vehicles from the Vall d’Hebron fire station were activated: 3 forest fire pump vehicles, 1 swift reaction vehicle, 1 heavy pump, 1 command vehicle and 1 ambulance.

Once on the scene, the team of firefighters studied the behaviour of the fire and made an initial analysis of the situation. They started working to control the tail of the fire and prevent it spreading while they waited for the arrival of more firefighters subsequently activated: 1 forward command vehicle, 2 further command vehicles and 1 vehicle with a canopy.

As a resource available to firefighters since last summer, the drone service was also activated. The drones have night vision, thermal vision and speakers. Images are viewed in real time and in these cases they provide support information for tackling forest fires.

The simulated fire originated in a shack and spread to affect some houses on the route to Mas Sauró and Torrent del Rovelló before reaching the home for people with intellectual disabilities in Mas Sauró. This way, the exercise involved local people as well as workers and residents at the centre.

The firefighters were divided into two working groups with different goals, one to put out the fire and one to protect the nucleus of homes.

The latter identified particularly vulnerable elements in the area, analysing surfaces and types of buildings in case there were any unsuitable for providing shelter.

With support from the City Police, local residents were confined to their homes and others nearby if their own was not safe to stay in (horizontal evacuation). Close attention was also given to the safety of those confined at the centre.

Besides the Barcelona Fire Service, the drill involved the City Police (with seven patrols from the mountain districts and an emergency police reinforcement unit), the Barcelona Urgent Care and Social Emergency Centre (CUESB), the Collserola Consortium and the Mossos d’Esquadra police corps.

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