TARRAGONA – Forest fires have destroyed thousands of hectares of land mainly in northeastern Spain over the weekend. The most severe fire in Santa Coloma de Queralt (Tarragona) and surrounding villages are not yet under control.
Fires in the provinces of Huelva and Albacete, on the other hand, have now been largely extinguished. However, according to Chief Inspector David Borrell of the Spanish Fire Service, the situation in Tarrogona is “very unstable”. Less than 80% of the perimeter of the fire is under control. Furthermore, in Catalonia, nearly 100 people had to be evacuated on Saturday due to the forest fires.
Last weekend’s first forest fire broke out in Ventalló (Girona) and destroyed 50 hectares of land. The fire has not yet been extinguished everywhere, but the fire service has the situation here under control. The second and largest fire started in Conca del Barberà (Tarragona) and has already destroyed more than 1000 hectares. Here too, a hundred people have been evacuated from their homes. The fire brigade is still working to get the fire under control.
The Catalan regional administration enlisted the help of central government in extinguishing the fire that started last Saturday in Santa Coloma de Queralt. It had quickly spread over the comarcas of Conca del Barberà and Anoia (Barcelona). On Saturday night, fire fighting helicopters and the deployment of Military Emergency Units (UME) were requested.
Huelva forest fire under control
On Saturday afternoon, a forest fire also broke out in Villarrasa (Huelva) in southern Spain. It has destroyed some 600 hectares of forest land. And is the first major fire this year to occur in Andalucia. The fire is still active, however, the situation is now under control. This required the deployment of two fire fighting helicopters, the forest firefighting service INFOCA, the Huelva fire brigade, the local police and the Guardia Civil.
The fire in Liétor in the province of Albaceta (Castile-La Mancha) is also under control. This fire destroyed a ground area of 2.5 thousand hectares. The warning to residents of the affected area (Isso and Mingogil) to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed has now been lifted. The fire brigade is currently still working to put out the fire in Tobarra, where 400 hectares of land have been burned.
Fire fighting helicopters and national military emergency units were also deployed in Castile-La Mancha last weekend.
In Navarre, a fire service checkpoint is monitoring the development of small new fires, including in the Bardenas Reales Natural Park, where forest fires had already raged earlier last week. The regional administration of Navarra has declared that it will do everything it can to prevent further vegetation from being destroyed in an area of great ecological value.