Major forest fire in Zaragoza due to wind in critical situation

by Lorraine Williamson
Añón de Moncayo fire in critical situation
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PROVINCIA DE ZARAGOZA – A new forest fire was declared in Añón de Moncayo in the Zaragoza region on Saturday. This has resulted in the evacuation of over 1,500 people from eight places. The fire is in a “critical situation” due to “unpredictable” weather. 

Meanwhile, the UME Military Emergency Unit has joined the firefighting tasks in Vall d’Ebo (Alicante). Also, the fire in Jumilla (Murcia) has already stabilised. 

A total of 500 UME troops are extinguishing these three fires this Sunday. However, they can withdraw from the area in Jumilla tonight because the fire has stabilised there. 

Related post: Why is Spain on fire? 

Fire considered a critical situation

The situation of the fire in Añón de Moncayo is the most serious. This fire was declared around 3.00 pm on Saturday and people had to be evacuated just half an hour later. The situation is “critical” due to the unpredictable weather of the last few hours, the general manager of forest management in the region said. 

The fire was “very virulent” all night and has three active outbreaks. The fire has already affected between some 8,000 and 10,000 hectares and the forecast is “worrying”. Although the forecasts are “less devastating” than at the same time on Saturday, Aragon president Javier Lambán, who visited the area, said. 

Aragon requested reinforcements from Navarra, Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha. In addition, the weather forecast – with gusts of 50 or 60 kilometres per hour – suggests that the coming hours will also be “complicated” and above all dependent on the evolution of the wind. 

Proximity Moncayo Natural Park 

Some 300 troops – 187 of the UME – work in a limited perimeter of more than 50 kilometers where thousands of hectares of pine forest, holm oaks and agricultural crops have already been affected. The extinguishing media have their focus on Añon, due to its proximity to the Moncayo Natural Park. A lot of fuel is available here while it is an enclave of great ecological value. Furthermore, four nearby roads have been closed due to the fire. 

Another fire was declared in the same region on Saturday evening. This one in Isabena in Huesca. Probably caused by lightning. The evolution of this fire is “favourable”. 

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About 2,200 hectares burned down in Vall d’Ebo (Alicante) 

In the Valencian Community, the Generalitat has activated alert level 2 of its fire-fighting plan and has requested the intervention of the UME in the case of the fire in Vall d’Ebo (Alicante), as it could have serious consequences for populated areas and important infrastructures. 

A total of 140 military personnel are already in the area and efforts are aimed at preventing the fire from advancing towards the municipality of Vall de la Gallinera. 

The fire, which has already destroyed 2,200 hectares, was announced around 9.40 pm on Saturday, but strong winds (over 50 kilometres per hour), high temperatures and a very uneven terrain prevented the extinguishing work from the ground. 

Fire in Jumilla under control 

Meanwhile, the fire announced this Saturday in the area of ​​La Patoja, in the municipality of Jumilla (Murcia), was considered under control after the nighttime work of the UME. Therefore, this unit may withdraw in the next few hours. 

Fires in Galicia 

In northern Spain, particularly in Galicia, six forest fires are burning 3,380 hectares. One has been added since Saturday evening in Lugo and another has been extinguished in Ourense, the regional ministry of Rural Affairs reported. 

The largest is a fire in the province of Ourense that covers 2,100 hectares and is still active. The outbreaks started in Laza, Camba and Chandrexa de Queira. 

Another fire in Becerril, Riaza district of Segovia, has since stabilised, the Junta de Castilla y León has reported. 

Sierra de la Culebra fire still not extinguished 

Meanwhile, the first major fire that started in mid-June – two months ago – in the Sierra de la Culebra in Zamora is still not considered extinguished. 

Related post: Zamora forest fire turns out to be worst in Spain’s history 

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