Friday, June 9

Firefighters manage to stop the advance of the Castellón fire, but the heat and the west complicate its control

The favorable weather conditions, with no wind and high humidity, together with the work of 500 ground troops, have made it possible for the Villanueva de Viver (Castellón) fire to not advance last morning.

This was confirmed this Saturday by the Autonomous Secretary for Security and Emergencies of the Valencian Government, José María Ángel, who has informed that throughout this Saturday morning some twenty air means will be added progressively that in coordination with the 500 ground troops will carry out “very precise and very concise charges in the hot spots in order to continue reducing the evolution of the fire.”

Ángel recalled that throughout the day “there will be high temperatures and a west wind that will make the work of extinguishing the fire much more difficult.”

The first major fire of the year has caused the eviction of some 1,500 people between that province and Teruel, and has destroyed 4,000 hectares with a perimeter of 40 kilometers. Work is being done from the air to try to prevent it from advancing towards the Serra d’Espadà, on the right flank.

For the moment, the two objectives set by the Advanced Command Post have been achieved: that the perimeter of the fire and the footprint of the fire does not advance and that it does not reach the CV-195 highway, which connects the towns of Montán and Montanejos, in the Castellon province.

Regarding the possible causes of the fire, although the possibility of agricultural burning has been discussed, the official authorities consulted by have not confirmed this version and affirm that it is still early to conclusively establish the origin of the fire.

“A terrifying landscape”

The fire is leaving “a rather terrifying landscape” and tears among the neighborhood of the evicted municipalities, who live with uncertainty, grief and anguish the advance of the flames and, although they are grateful that there have been no human victims, they regret that the worst it is the loss of their natural environment, “the only inheritance” they could leave behind.

According to the Red Cross, the emergency shelter set up in Onda has already been closed and in the one in Segorbe there is no longer anyone staying, with what remains as a point of stay for the day and maintenance for about 80 people.

The forestry engineer and professor of prevention and extinction of forest fires at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Rafael Delgado, explained that the unfavorable weather due to rising temperatures, drought, the abandonment of rural areas and the increase in the density of Forest masses are factors that are contributing to the fires and their greater virulence.

In his opinion, given this scenario, it was to be expected that the fire would spread very quickly, since an important flank opened up in the first hours of the fire, fanned this Friday by the mistral wind that has turned it into a front that is already very wide, and warns of the risk that on Saturday the wind will change and “what today is the tail becomes the head”.