Spain: Wildfire in Valencia region forces 1,500 villagers to evacuate

 Monday, March 27, 2023 


Spain is facing its first big wildfire of the year, which has burned over 4,000 hectares (9,900 acres) of forest and forced 1,500 people to leave their homes in the Valencia region. Officials have warned tourists to stay away from the fires in eastern Spain, which is a popular tourist destination. The local police has spotted 14 cyclists near the scene trying to get a closer look of the forest fire.

The residents who had to leave their homes behind are feeling scared and sad. One resident, Antonio Zarzoso, said, “Your town is burning, your life is burning. Our animals were there and no one can tell us anything.”

More than 500 firefighters, along with 20 planes and helicopters, are working to control the fire near the village of Villanueva de Viver. They have managed to stop the fire from spreading to other areas. However, the surrounding forest has been reached by fire and we don’t know how exactly the area looks. The president of the Valencia region, Ximo Puig, said that the fire was made more “voracious” by summer-like temperatures of about 30C (86F).

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire. An unusually dry winter across parts of southern Europe has raised concerns that there could be a repeat of last year’s devastating wildfires. The weather along Spain’s north-eastern Mediterranean coast will be drier and hotter than usual this spring, increasing the risk of fires, according to the meteorological agency Aemet. Last year, 785,000 hectares were destroyed in Europe, which is more than double the annual average for the past 16 years.

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