Thursday, September 29

The fires in Bejís and Vall d’Ebo have already devastated 15,000 hectares and remain uncontrolled while waiting for an improvement in weather conditions

Around fifty aerial means have been working since the early hours of Wednesday to extinguish the fires in Bejís and Vall d’Ebo, which have so far destroyed some 4,000 (with a perimeter close to 50 kilometres) and around 11,500 (and a perimeter of 80 kilometers) hectares of forest mass respectively. Between the two outbreaks, around 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in recent times, and a hundred people have spent the night from Tuesday to Wednesday in shelters.

The president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, attended the Cecopi (Integrated Operational Coordination Center) meeting in Eliana on Wednesday morning, where the evolution of the two large fires that are currently ravaging the interior of the provinces of Castellón and Alicante. The head of the Consell has recognized that throughout the day there may be some positive moment, with some “minor, intense rains, but they are local storms that, perhaps, do not directly affect the fire.”

The Bejís fire, in Castellón, has already reached the town of Alcublas, in the province of Valencia: “Any type of analysis of how it will evolve is still premature, because the weather this morning is very negative, with the wind changing from one very dynamic way. However, the president has acknowledged that they are hopeful that, starting at noon, storms and rains may occur that will help “in a very effective way” to begin to stabilize the fire.

In this sense, he acknowledged that on Tuesday night there was an “unforeseen” change: “At 00 hours, when we left the forward command post, there was a calm weather situation, no wind and humidity of 70 %, but at 2 in the morning there was a change in the wind that caused the preventive eviction of Sacañet”. It is expected to see how the day develops to check the evolution of the fire.

Wounded in Bejís

The Ministry of Health is in contact with the hospital centers to inquire about the state of health of the people who were injured when evacuating a train that had to stop at Caudiel (Castellón) due to the proximity of the flames, three of they are in a more serious situation, “and especially one of them, a 58-year-old woman, who is admitted to the La Fe de València hospital.” As for the two firefighters who were injured, they have already been discharged, as has the forest agent from Aragón, who was also injured: “The most important thing, in this and in all fires, is the guarantee of safety of the people, the neighbors who are evacuated preventively, and especially the firefighters. You have to take the utmost precaution.”

Regarding the fact that railway traffic was not interrupted despite the fire, Ximo Puig has avoided making assessments and has pointed out that Renfe has opened an investigation into how the accident unfolded: “It seems that the driver acted in a correct way and preventive, because it is not that the flames were there, but that there was smoke, and he made the decision, authorized by his commanders, to return to Sagunto”. Regarding the action of some travelers, the Valencian president has pointed out that it is prosecuted.

“We are experiencing a tremendous disruption in terms of winds. Last night there was no forecast that the fire was going to move towards Sacañet, it was quite the opposite, all the meteorological models at that time indicated that the flames were going to go where they went this morning, towards Ragudo. Therefore, the utmost caution must be exercised”, commented Puig, who added that right now the evolution towards the motorway, the A-23, is pending, “at this time there is no direct effect but, if it changes the wind, the opportune decisions would have to be made”.

difficult control

The head of the Consell has indicated that fires with so many kilometers of perimeter like these make it very difficult to control, “there cannot be in all the terrestrial areas, because there are not enough troops and it would be absolutely disproportionate.” “We trust that the aerial resources can work intensely throughout the day and, as there is less smoke, conditions will improve”

The Ministers of the Interior, Fernando Grande Marlaska, and Science, Diana Morant, visit the advanced command posts in Bejís and Vall d’Ebo, respectively, this morning.