Firefighting efforts ongoing at Spain’s first major wildfire of the year
Castellón, Spain, Mar 26 (EFE).- Some 500 responders and 16 firefighting aircraft were on Sunday working to bring Spain’s first major wildfire of the year under control amid unfavorable weather forecasts.
The fire in Spain’s eastern Valencia region has already devoured some 38 square kilometers of land and forced the evacuation of hundreds of local residents.
The head of the emergency services in the Valencia region, José María Ángel, said firefighters worked through the night to contain the fire and that the aircraft units joined in the early morning.
He warned that the fire could reignite in places due to the strong winds and unseasonably high temperatures forecast in the area.
Extinguishing efforts are being hampered by the complicated topography of the region, which is characterized by ravines covered in vegetation.
The fire began on Thursday and has since forced the evacuation of 1,750 people in the area around the town of Villanueva de Viller.
Authorities believe the fire could have been started by accident during routine agricultural burning. Police have taken statements from four people allegedly linked to the blaze.
Wildfires are a common occurrence in Spain, but the peak season usually coincides with the soaring summer temperatures in June, July and August.
Last year, Spain witnessed a record wildfire season in terms of hectares burned according to the data collated by the European Union’s forest fire information system since 2003.EFE