The direction of the forest fire in Bejís (Castellón) has proposed an “absolute” change in the strategy to fight the fire, which continues to advance without control, due to the complications caused by the wind. The next few hours will be “very complicated”, more evictions may occur, although for the moment “they are not considered”.
“We cannot do anything else, the only thing is to try to concentrate on protecting people”, the ‘president’ of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, who visited the advanced command post this afternoon that has moved to the Viver municipality. The fire declared in the middle of the afternoon on Monday has also forced the municipalities of Teresa, Torás and Bejís to evacuate preventively. In total, more than 1,000 people have been evicted and two firefighters have been injured this afternoon during the extinction work.
Precisely, given the advance of the flames and after evaluating the situation, the fire management team has proposed an “absolute” change in the strategy to face “the nearest horizon”, based on a “hierarchization of actions: first, the people and firefighters. “We cannot have any more misfortunes at this time,” said the head of the Consell, who has insisted: “Protecting people is the highest priority.”
Puig, who has described the situation as “extraordinary, complicated and very difficult”, has been “very concerned” about the evolution of the fire and has argued that the fundamental premise at this time is “to preserve people”, who are the ” basic element”.
It has been in the last hours when the situation has worsened. In fact, Puig assured, this morning “it was defined and the strategy was working”, but there has been a “disruptive change” due to the wind, which has forced the eviction of the municipalities of Teresa, Torás and Bejís itself. Despite this, no more evictions are being considered, the head of the Consell has indicated.
Thus, the fire “seemed” to evolve “following the strategy” but the change of wind has accelerated the speed of the fire, as explained by the ‘president’ of the Generalitat, who has indicated that for tonight the forecast is that the wind subsides although the situation will continue to be “complex”. “This morning we thought the wind was going to change and it was the opposite,” he explained.
Evictions “that are opportune”
In fact, at 9:00 p.m. a meeting has been called with all the mayors of the area, “beyond those directly affected” to “become aware of how the fire is going to evolve”. In any case, Puig has indicated that “appropriate decisions” will be made, action will be taken according to the evolution of the fire and evictions “that are appropriate” may take place, although at this time “there is no need to do so”.
Asked about the perimeter of the fire, Puig has assured that it has changed “absolutely” and now “we cannot speak of hectares”, because “there are going to be many more than the 800 this morning”. “The fire – he has continued – continues to consume forest mass. It is a great misfortune, but the worst misfortune would be if it affected people. We can’t do anything else, the only thing is to try to focus on protecting people.”
Improve the weather situation
However, he has indicated that, based on the forecasts, the technicians anticipate that for this Wednesday “it seems that there may be a change in the weather situation” with an improvement in it. “But we have very difficult hours ahead of us”, he stressed.
In any case, he has asked the population for “maximum prudence” and that they follow “what the authorities say”, he has called for “remain calm” despite the fact that the current is a “very difficult” moment and has praised the “great effort” of the fire teams.
Puig has shared with the mayors and mayors of the affected municipalities the situation of “uncertainty” of the next few hours and the “absolute sadness” that the fire “has finished with a part of the natural heritage”. “It will be very complicated hours”, Puig insisted, who has appealed to “maintain calm”.