Wildfire near Tarifa stabilised

by Lorraine Williamson
Tarifa wildfire

TARIFA – At least 50 troops were still at work on Friday morning to stabilise the wildfire in Tarifa (Cádiz). The fire broke out on Wednesday and still had active sources within the perimeter. 

The fire in the Sierra de San Bartolomé affects at least 50 hectares of scrub and pines according to information from Infoca. Antonio Sanz of the Junta de Andalucía, during his visit to the command post, stated that the wind had given “a truce”. Consequently, the firefighting services on the ground could benefit from this. 

Around 70 people had to be evacuated for prevention. These are residents of the El Chaparral district. The neighbourhood association of Bologna now functions as a shelter by order of the municipality of Tarifa. More than thirty evicted residents were counted there on Thursday. According to Sanz, the return home of these people was not planned “for now”, given the complexity of the fire, because of the difficult accessibility of the site and the wind. 

However, at 11.30 am Infoca confirmed on its Twitter account that the fire has been stabilised. 

“Chaos at Infoca” 

Residents of Tarifa affected by the fire denounced Infoca’s actions: “It’s chaos”. “We prayed all night for the day to come,” confesses Sandra Jiménez, president of the Betis neighbourhood association. Betis is also one of the places most affected by the fire. The rural areas of Betijuelo and El Chaparral, in the Sierra de San Bartolomé, a few metres from Bolonia beach, have also been affected. 

Cogesa Expats

Two helicopters were supposed to reconnect at dawn, but according to local residents, they had still not arrived by 9.30 am. They themselves spent the night hauling buckets of water to try and control the fire at some of the wells closest to homes and animal stables. 

According to Infoca, air assets cannot fly “until the sun is completely up”. They stated that they will add, in a staggered manner; to send two heavy seaplanes and a Super Puma helicopter, a Kamov and two Bell 412; a fire truck; a medical unit; five firefighting teams; two reinforcement brigades (Brica); an operations technician; an environmental agent and the director of the Provincial Operations Centre (COP). According to Infoca, it is a stony terrain with steep slopes. 

Three more active fires in Asturias 

The Principality of Asturias recorded three active wildfires late Thursday, one stabilised and eight under investigation, according to the Emergency Service of the Principality of Asturias (SEPA). The evaluation, monitoring and completion work – cooling hot spots in burnt areas – on the fires recorded in recent days is ongoing. Extinguishing and monitoring tasks are also performed simultaneously in the event of new fires. 

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The active fires are in Aballe/Dego, in Parres, Caneles (Cabrales) and Caldueño (Llanes), the latter “without danger” according to SEPA. The stabilised fire is the one between Tineo and Valdés, with six SEPA firefighters remaining mobilised from Barres, Valdés and Tineo parks, along with the head of the Northwest Zone. The fires investigated are located in Allande (2), Tineo, Villayón, Piloña, Parres, Cangas del Narcea and Laviana. 

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