Firefighter and civilian killed in a forest fire in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
firefighter dies in fire

PROVINCIA DE ZAMORA – The active forest fires in Spain during the heat wave have already destroyed more than 20,000 hectares in recent days. A 60-year-old firefighter died while extinguishing a forest fire in Losacio (Zamora). 

Early Monday morning, 40 forest fires are still active. Also on Monday morning, Castilla y León emergency services announced they had found the body of a 69-year-old man at a site burned down by the Locacio forest fire in Zamora province. It would be the second fatality in this Zamora fire. On Sunday, a firefighter was killed after becoming trapped in the flames while fighting on the ground. 

On Sunday, flames continued to wreak havoc in the provinces of Cáceres, Salamanca and Málaga. The high temperatures during the heat wave that hung over much of Spain in recent days did not help. The mercury rose in many places to well above 40ºC. This, in combination with strong winds and relatively dry spring, meant that the risk of fire was extremely high for days. And many have known that. New fires also started in Ourense and Barcelona on Sunday. 

Firefighter dies 

60-year-old firefighter Daniel G.V. died after becoming trapped between two fire fronts from the Losacio fire. The regional government confirmed the death of the firefighter on Twitter on Sunday with the words: “The most important thing in an operation is the people. People who put their lives on the line. Today Daniel G.V., of the C-9.9 fire truck, was killed while fighting the Losacio fire. We would never have wanted to give this news. Our deepest condolences.” 

Two colleagues of the brigade member who died on Sunday suffered burns. They had to be evacuated with minor burns. The Junta de Castilla y León declared this to EFE. They were injured in the evacuation of 1,800 people from nine villages that had to be evacuated by this fire. They were housed in a sports complex in Zamora. 

The Losacio fire was classified as a level 2 fire because of the fire hazard to populated areas. Residents of San Martín de Tábara, Sesnández de Tábara and Ferreruela were evacuated on Sunday. The railway line between Valladolid and Puebla de Sanabria has also been closed. 

Initial information said the fire was caused by a lightning strike during a storm in the area on Sunday afternoon. 

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Nature reserves in Extremadura under threat 

Three of the sources of greatest concern are in Extremadura. First of all, the active fires in Casas de Miravete and Las Hurdes are cause for concern. 3,000 and 8,000 hectares have been destroyed here, respectively. In addition, another fire broke out in El Valle del Jerte, known for the annually lavishly blooming cherry trees.

The Spanish Prime Minister and King Felipe VI will travel to Extremadura on Monday to visit the affected areas there. 

Forest fire in the Sierra de Mijas stabilised 

In Andalucia, emergency services have managed to stabilise the fire that has been raging since last Friday in the mountains of Mijas, Alhaurín el Grande and Alhaurín de la Torre (Málaga). According to the Andalucian government, the evolution is now favourable, with almost 90% of the perimeter secured. The government stresses that caution must be exercised as the troops are going through the “most critical” hours due to the rise in temperatures, as reactivations can take place. According to the first official estimates, more than 2,500 hectares have been burned. In particular, slopes on the north side are blackened. Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated. 

Wind as a result of DANA difficult for extinguishing work 

The State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) predicts that a high-wind depression (DANA) will continue its movement to the northeast on Monday. As a result, Atlantic winds enter and that could complicate the extinguishing work. 

Homes and cars hit by fire in Barcelona 

In Catalonia, the forest fire near Pont de Vilomara (Barcelona) is still active and has set fire to more than 1,200 hectares, some houses and cars in the Rivera Park urbanisation. About two hundred people have been evacuated from various urbanisations in the area of ​​the fire. Another 4,500 others suffered the same fate because of the heavy smoke development. 

Of the blackened area, nearly 200 hectares correspond to the protected natural area of ​​Sant Llorenç del Munt I l’Obac. 

Fires revived by the wind in Galicia 

The forest fire in Riodolas, in Carballeda de Valdeorras (Ourense), has been rekindled by strong winds. 1,900 hectares have already been covered.

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