OVIEDO – Most of the forest fires still active in the northwestern Spanish region of Asturias are currently “controlled and stabilised”. However, there are two exceptions: a fire in the municipality of Parres and one in Belmonte de Miranda.
This was confirmed on Saturday by the manager of the emergency service (SEPA) of the Principality of Asturias, Óscar Rodríguez, at a press conference. He was joined in this by the President of the Principality, Adrián Barbón. Together they took stock of the spate of wildfires that authorities say are 99% deliberate.
Moreover, the fires mainly affected the western zone of the region with virulence. As a result, nearly 400 people had to be evacuated as a precaution. At the moment there are 71 fires that are still burning, but they are being controlled. The fire brigade was lucky with the arrival of rain at the two fires at Parres and Belmonte de Miranda. It makes their work easier.
The forest fire service estimates the number of hectares affected at about 11,000, although the damage has yet to be accurately estimated.
🔴PARTE DE INTERVENCIÓN 01/04/23➡️3 #BRIF de @mitecogob han intervenido en 3 #IIFF
🔥#IFValdes, Paladeperre AS
🔥#IFMoandi, Parres AS
👨🚒#BRIF-i @BrifLaza pic.twitter.com/De4wpjMUZb
— ATBRIF (@AT_Brif) April 1, 2023
The fires registered in the principality in recent days have also led to the closure of roads. Amongst which the A-8 for twelve hours. In addition, the flames destroyed buildings such as granaries and stables. No inhabited houses burned down.
Óscar Rodríguez emphasised the “extreme speed” with which the fire developed throughout. It has therefore been “very hard working days” for all firefighters with great danger. “Fortunately no injuries have occurred”.
Favourable weather conditions
The president of the autonomous community has confirmed that the rainfall and the drop in temperature “already promote control of the situation at the moment”. He reiterated that these are “premeditated and organised” fires, as “there has clearly been coordinated action by environmental terrorists”. There were twelve different outbreaks at the same time on Mount Naranco near Oviedo and something similar happened in Cabo Noval. That can never be a coincidence, Barbón indicated.
It was the worst wave of fires in the Principality since 2017. On Saturday, light rainfall throughout the region was predicted by Aemet. Furthermore, this was especially in the second half of the day in the eastern part. The additional temperature drop is very welcome for the firefighting services.
Cantabria’s fires under control
In Cantabria, firefighting has extinguished all forest fires in the region, with the exception of two controlled wells in Argüeñabes (Camaleño) and in Barrio (Vega de Liébana). No new fires have been lit since 6.00 am on Saturday and four have been active since 7.00 pm yesterday, the government of Cantabria reports.
The Minister of the Environment, Guillermo Blanco, stressed that only “two hotspots” are left thanks to the change in weather and the efforts of the municipal firefighters.
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