The fire that devastates the Sierra de la Culebra (Zamora) has already destroyed almost 20,000 hectares, specifically 19,765, practically twice the number estimated on Friday. If the fire continues to advance, it could surpass last year’s disaster in Navalacruz (Ávila), the worst fire in Castilla y León to date, which burned 22,000 hectares.
The origin of the fire was the lightning of a dry storm that between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. last Wednesday caused eleven outbreaks. The Junta de Castilla y León had decreed a medium risk of fires despite the high temperatures of the heat wave and was forced to declare Level 1 of danger in the town of Riofrío de Aliste. As explained on Friday by the president of the Board, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, the fire devours hectares due to “exceptionally” weather conditions. But time is not the only cause, according to the CCOO union, which recalls some statements made by Mañueco during his visit to the Sierra de la Paramera and Serrota fire last year and, after seeing the damage suffered, acknowledged that perhaps there would be to “rethink” the model. “Well, a year later he keeps rethinking it and in the meantime nothing changes and the fires continue to ravage our community,” he laments.
In the Sierra de la Culebra fire, the Military Emergency Unit, the members of the Miteco, the Civil Guard and the neighboring autonomous communities (Galicia, Madrid, Extremadura, Cantabria and Castilla-La Mancha) are intervening, among other things, because the Community’s operation is at 50 percent, “ignoring the extreme risk of fire,” adds the union.
The flames forced the evacuation of 14 towns: Cabañas de Aliste, Torres de Aliste, Pobladura de Aliste, Mahíde, Palazuelo de las Cuevas, San Pedro de las Herrerías, Boya, Villardeciervos, Villanueva del Valrojo, Ferreras de Arriba, Ferreras de Abajo, Codesal , Cional and Ready Arrows. This morning, according to the Board’s Environment Service, the residents of Boya, San Pedro de Herrerías, Cabañas Aliste, Mahíde, Pobladura Aliste, Torres de Aliste and Palazuelo de las Cuevas have been able to return to their homes.