Wildfire in Spain’s Alicante continues, burns 6,500 hectares

 Tuesday, August 16, 2022 


While the large wildfire in Spain’s Zaragoza stabilized on Monday, the blaze in the province of Alicante has nearly doubled in size in less than 24 hours.

Officials on Monday afternoon estimated that the wildfire has charred 6,500 hectares (16,062 acres) of mostly forest, making it the largest fire in the region of Valencia in a decade.

The fire has forced the evacuation of around 1,200 people in the area, while officials tell other nearby towns to prepare for potential evacuations as the flames continue.

Pepe Cerda, spokesperson for the Alicante firefighters, said on social media said that the fire is being changed by the wind. The levant is blowing in, which is favorable in terms of humidity.

However, it’s also causing pyrocumulus clouds, complicating the situation in some areas.

The fire in Alicante began on Saturday night and was sparked by dry lightning in a summer storm that also brought strong winds.

On Sunday, the wildfire in Zaragoza was Spain’s most concerning. While it has stabilized, it forced around 1,500 people from their homes, many of whom were allowed to return on Monday.

The highest estimates are that 8,000 hectares (19,768 acres) of forest and agricultural land were scorched in the Zaragoza fire, while some homes and businesses were also affected.

The dry and hot weather that has defined the summer in Spain has given rise to what is set to be the worst wildfire season since at least 1994.

While parts of Alicante are the only areas in Spain still under a heat warning, the entire country will get a break from the scorching heat as Spain’s meteorological agency forecasts that the mercury will cool in most of the country over the coming days.

For the first time in two months, meteorologists predict that a low-pressure system will bring much-needed precipitation to Spain.

However, rain is mainly expected to fall in the north of the country, while Alicante will remain sunny and with daily highs above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the week.

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