Animal Aid Association Mirada Libre has appealed for people NOT to visit the areas devastated by the recent fires in the Sierra Bermeja.
The group made the appeal after discovering that several well meaning individuals had been leaving food and water for animals in the affected areas.
Mirada Libre yesterday made an officially sanctioned trip into Sierra Bermeja with a group of volunteers who were thoroughly briefed on the protocols that had to be observed in the area.
“We we given strict instructions on what we could and could not do, as well as where to place the food” one of the volunteers said. “It is still very hazardous up there and we spotted several areas that were still smoking. As well as this, the surviving animals have been deeply traumatised, so we were instructed to be very quiet and careful as we put the food down in pre-determined places”.
Unfortunately the group has had to suspend its activities for 24 hours, after police and social media posts documented several unauthorised groups also operating in the area. One group were apparently spotted on mountain bikes.
“This is a critical phase in the recovery of the Sierra Bermeja. People walking across fragile areas scattering food, no matter how well meaning, could be doing more harm than good”.
Mirada Libre intents to resume its activities tomorrow.
In the meantime, Estepona mayor, José María García Urbano, called yesterday for the Sierra Bermeja to be made a National Park as soon as possible, so that the unique ecosystems such as the Pinsapo Pine can be protected. He also announced his intention to award the town’s highest honour to Carlos Martínez Haro, the firefighter who perished.