Early-Spring Inferno Wreaks Easter Gettaway Havoc
Madrileños hoping to enjoy the unseasonally good weather might be in for a shock if they are heading to the Levante region where temperatures have been hitting 30 degrees.
This apocalyptic footage shows some of the wildfires raging on the coast of eastern Spain, even though it has only just turned spring.
The footage was filmed in Villanueva de Viver, Castellon Province, and posted online on 27th March.
The Castellon Province Fire Department said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “We would not have liked to have to record these images.
“Unfortunately, meteorology has once again been the great ally of Villanueva de Viver wildfire.
“Today, the priority is on defending population centres such as Montan and Fuente la Reina. We are heading into the fifth night of the fire.”
Local media reported that firefighters battled to stop the flames from reaching the population centre of Montan.
They also worked round the clock to prevent the fire from spreading to the Sierra de Espadan natural park and nearby cattle farms.
Montan was evacuated on 24th March, with mayor Sergio Fornas telling local media: “Years ago, there was already a pretty big fire and we are always in the same situation because everything is very dry and abandoned.
“When it comes to cleaning up the forests, we don’t have any help and it’s something we must change together.
“They don’t let us do what we would like to do, we want to protect the forests but we encounter many bureaucratic problems.”
He said that the evacuation “was not easy because there were many elderly people and we have, for example, 70 people in the nursing home”.
He also said that town halls should have more facilities “to create a firebreak or cut down a pine forest”.
The mayor added: “They don’t let you because they think they are protecting it, but it’s a nightmare and then what happens, happens.”
The villages of Torralba del Pinar, Pavias, and Higueras were also evacuated, while inhabitants of Caudiel were ordered to remain indoors.
Local weather conditions on 27th March saw gusts of more than 50 km/h (31 mph) and less than 20 per cent humidity.
The government of the Valencia region said the conditions were “testing the agencies involved in the extinction”.
Gusts of more than 70 km/h (43 mph) and less than 20 per cent humidity is forecasted for today (30th March) and tomorrow.
Some 300 ground troops and 17 aerial units are still tackling the flames, which have scorched 4,700 hectares (11,614 acres) of land to date.
As of 27th March, 1,700 people had been evacuated from their homes.