Despite the truce that the heat has given almost the entire territory of the country since Friday, several fires unleashed in Alicante, Castellón, Zaragoza and Ourense have burned more than 10,000 hectares during the weekend and have forced firefighters to evacuate thousands of people. On Sunday, however, the firefighters considered the fire in Zamora under control, after more than 28 days of work, the most devastating this year and one of the worst in the history of Spain.
The Vall d’Ebo fire is still active after burning 3,500 hectares and is already near homes in Adsubia
On Saturday the authorities declared a fire in Añón de Moncayo, in Zaragoza, which so far has burned 8,000 hectares and has forced the emergency services to evacuate all the inhabitants of that town, as well as a nearby urbanization and the populations from Alcalá de Moncayo, Vera de Moncayo, el Buste, Ambel and Butente. In total, there are more than 1,500 residents who have been forced to leave their homes due to the threat of fire, which threatens the natural park in that region.
Three helicopter crews, three ground crews, two fire engines and two bulldozes are involved in the extinction work, after the Government of Aragon requested help from the Military Emergency Unit (UME) and neighboring communities. Two Forest Fire Reinforcement Brigades (BRIF) from the Ministry for Ecological Transition also participate, in addition to a coordination helicopter, technical personnel and the Advanced Command Post (PMA) that has been activated to direct and coordinate the interventions of the services of emergencies involved in extinction.
The fire was still active on Sunday although already within a stable perimeter of 50 kilometers and this Monday the regional authorities have stated that it is evolving favorably thanks to the fact that “the work that has been carried out yesterday and during the night has been effective and the perimeter has been maintained”, explained Diego Bayona, the general director of Natural Environment and Forestry Management of Aragon. “This allows us to be relatively optimistic, but we will still keep the same number of troops on the ground, 250”, he added.
Bayona focused the bulk of the tasks on two main points on Sunday: “The environment of the Moncayo Natural Park, which has been reactivated and is working and focusing resources in that area due to the difficulty it has due to the fuel that exists and the mass forest that it has” and, secondly, the “environment of the Muela de Borja, “although it has less risk because the forest mass that remains is already less”. At this second point is the sanctuary that houses the Ecce Homo de Borja. Aragón has also declared another fire in Isabena, in Huesca, although with a favorable evolution.
3,500 hectares burned in Vall d’Ebo
Firefighters are also having work this long weekend in the province of Alicante. On Saturday night, a forest fire in the town of Vall d’Ebo approached homes in the town of Adsubia and forced the evacuation of nearly a thousand people. So far, it has devastated 3,500 hectares and sources from the Emergencies of the Generalitat Valenciana have reported this Monday that ten houses have been evicted from Castell de Castells (Alicante), near the fire tank. The Civil Guard, for its part, has reported that it has evacuated around seventy homes in the area throughout the night.
In addition to Vall d’Ebo and Adsubia, the most affected population centers are the town of Pego and the districts of Alcalà de la Jovada, Benirrama and Beniali, where thirty fire crews from the Diputación de Alicante and thirteen Forest fire units of the Generalitat with nine fire engines. The incorporation of five air means is shortly planned and later another seven means of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge will do so, according to Emergencies.
The fire was declared around 9:40 p.m. on Saturday, but the strong wind -more than 50 kilometers per hour-, the high temperatures and a very uneven terrain, prevented the land resources from stopping its start. As reported to EFE by the Provincial Firefighters Consortium, the deployment of land and air resources is maintained in the area, with some 200 professionals from the firefighting services, as well as personnel from the UME, who were mobilized yesterday, although the number has varied throughout the day because several have moved to the Les Useres fire, in Castellón.
Several foci in Ourense
Galicia is also working to extinguish several fires –nine so far–, mainly in the town of Ourense. The firefighting teams have been fighting for several days against the fire that has already destroyed 3,700 hectares in different parts of the region. In the last few hours, the one registered in the municipality of Castrelo do Val (Ourense), in the parish of Campobecerros, has been added to the list of outbreaks. The area burned there so far is 40 hectares, according to the Ministry of Rural Affairs.
Meanwhile, the Laza fire is still active, which after joining with the Chandrexa de Queixa fire, has consumed 2,100 hectares, according to provisional estimates. Also active in the province of Ourense are the fires in the municipalities of Riós and Oímbra, whose devastated area increases to 80 and 70 hectares, respectively. Rural Environment maintains that they evolve “favorably” towards their stabilization.
In addition, in Ourense the fires in Casaio, in Carballeda de Valdeorras, which have burned around 440 hectares, remain under control but have not yet been extinguished; that of Astureses, in Boborás, with some 120 hectares burned; that of San Cosmede de Cusanca, in O Irixo, where some 680 hectares have burned; and that of the municipality of A Gudiña, which began in Pentes and has burned 90 hectares. Already in the province of Lugo, the fire that started late on Saturday afternoon in the parish of Torbeo, in the City Council of Ribas de Sil, which has burned some 40 hectares, remains stabilized but still burning. More than a week after it began in the parish of Cures, the fire in Boiro, in the region of O Barbanza (A Coruña), was extinguished. The hectares devastated by this forest fire amount to 2,200.
Controlled fire in Zamora after 28 days
The largest fire to date, which has burned 31,500 hectares in 28 days, that of Losacio (Zamora), was controlled this Sunday. The Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territory Planning of the Junta de Castilla y León in Zamora declared the fire that started on July 17 to be controlled, which so far is the most devastating of this year and one of the largest in the history in Spain, with two deceased, and 5,800 inhabitants of 31 towns evacuated.
However, in the same province of Zamora there are seven aerial means that participate in the work of extinguishing a forest fire declared this afternoon in the municipality of Porto, which is part of the natural park of Lake Sanabria, Sierras de Segundera and Porto. , and is bordering with the province of Ourense. Two technicians, three environmental agents, three ground crews, three helicopter crews, two fire engines and two machinery checkpoints work on the tasks, as reported by the Fire Extinguishing Service of the Junta de Castilla y León.