Alicante wildfire reaches Valencia and is still out of control

by Lorraine Williamson
Alicante wildfire

VALENCIA – The wildfire that started in Alicante on Saturday reached the province of Valencia on Wednesday. Due to the unpredictable wind, the fire brigade cannot get the situation under control. More than 1,500 people have been evacuated and a firefighter was injured this morning. 

Currently, about fifty units (thirty in Castellón and twenty in Alicante) are working from the air to extinguish the wildfire. Due to the unpredictable winds, it is extremely difficult to get the fire under control. Consequently, units have had to stop extinguishing at times because the conditions are too dangerous. 

Evacuations and injuries from fires in Spain 

On Monday it was announced that residents of various municipalities had to leave their homes because of the approaching fire. Due to the changing weather conditions, and the fact that the fire brigade cannot get the fires under control, it was decided in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday to also evacuate residents of the municipality of Sacañet (Castellón). On Wednesday morning, even a firefighter was injured while putting out the fire in Bejís (Castellón). 

Panic in Renfe train between Valencia and Zaragoza 

Dozens of passengers on a Renfe train were also injured on Tuesday when the train came to a halt between Masadas Blancas and Barracas because the fire got too close. This happened on the route between Valencia and Zaragoza. Due to the sudden change of wind, flames hit some of the carriages. 

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Passengers smashed the windows to flee and during this panic three passengers suffered severe burns. Dozens of other people were bothered by the smoke they had inhaled. The affected passengers were treated on the spot by ambulance personnel, one person was taken by helicopter to the hospital in Valencia. Passengers who remained on the train on the advice of the driver were not injured. 

Thousands of hectares of land destroyed by fire created in Vall d’Ebro 

According to preliminary estimates, an area between 3,800 and 4,000 hectares has so far gone up in flames in the province of Valencia, said Ximo Puig, the regional president of Valencia. 

In total, the fire in Vall d’Ebo destroyed an area of ​​11,500 hectares, with a circumference of no less than 80 kilometers. According to the coordination centre, the fire is still active on all fronts. The hope is that because of the higher humidity, and hopefully a lot of precipitation, the fire will develop less quickly on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the fire brigade must take into account the unpredictable weather on Wednesday. 

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