The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, announced this midday from the outskirts of Monfragüe that “the risk” of affecting the Natural Park “is excluded” and thanked “the joint work of the UME, the forestry brigades, those of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, as well as the local ones, the forest firefighters, the Civil Guard and all the civil protection systems”.
Marlaska has insisted that “we can be somewhat calmer than a few hours ago” and that the Monfragüe fire is “more stabilized”, for which reason the A-5 has been reopened in both directions, although there are still three “critical” points in which the operational plan remains “especially vigilant”.
The affected perimeter has hardly changed and 120 ground troops and eight air assets continue to work in the area where there is no fire but it is smoking, the general director of Emergencies, Civil Protection and Interior, Nieves Villar, explained to the media.
Last night was “very hard, with a sudden exacerbation of the fire” that forced the evacuation of more than 400 people from the towns of Romangordo and Higuera de Albalat“, of which more than a hundred remain housed in the space that the Red Cross has enabled in Navalmoral de la Mata.
The evacuation was “difficult” because there was a nursing home whose users had to be transferred to the towns of Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena.
Regarding the fire that affects the provinces of Salamanca and Cáceres, and in which Grande-Marlaska was also present this Saturday, the minister expressed his confidence that “in the next few hours the weather conditions will improve and help the two fires stabilize.
These are “difficult” days, said the minister, who has asked to “trust the national Civil Protection system and coordination between administrations”, highlighting, in this sense, that the central government has provided 70 percent of the means of extinction.
Both fires maintain danger level 2 and “we have not yet reflected on measures for returning home because the municipalities have to be well stabilized,” he declared.
However, residents can go to their homes when they need it accompanied by Civil Guard agents to feed their animals or collect belongings.
As for the fire declared this morning in Sierra de Gata, it has caused the closure of two highways and has forced the displacement of some resources deployed in Miravete.