Major forest fire in Spain goes out of control

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From there, the fire spread in a northeasterly direction. In Las Hurdes, residents of six cities were still unable to return to their homes. Since yesterday, ‘the most unfavorable area’ has been located due to the rapid spread of the flames in Castilla y León in the Sierra de Francia (Salamanca). However, the flank adjacent to the province of Salamanca is in poor condition, according to the Junta de Extremadura.

Twelve land units, two aircraft and five corps are working to bring the fire, which also threatens the Sierra de Francia nature reserve, under control. More than 3,000 hectares have already gone up in flames in Extremadura. More than 2,500 black hercares will be added in Salamanca.

On Tuesday, residents of Monsagro were evacuated due to the proximity of the flames and the large amount of smoke. On Wednesday, there was concern for the residents of Serradilla del Llano as the front of the fire moved in their direction in a devastating manner.

“Extremely virulent behavior”

The day was very complicated for the fire brigade, who felt helpless in the extreme heat and a strong wind that constantly changed direction. Late in the morning, sources from the Ministry of the Environment in Castilla y León acknowledged that the fire “showed an extremely virulent behavior with very extreme spread rates”. The outlook was not very encouraging, as strong winds were also expected for the night.

The fire hits the Batuecas – Sierra de Francia natural park and has led to the evacuation of Monsagro municipality. Still unable to return to their homes, the 400 residents are accommodated in Ciudad Rodrigo (the border town of Portugal) in the municipal pavilion, a school building and a student residence.

Meanwhile, in the Serradilla del Llano, the flames spread uncontrollably. Late in the afternoon, the village mayor was convinced that the evacuation of the 160 residents would not be necessary. “I do not think the fire is coming, there is a river in between and so many kilometers without trees,” he told ABC. He admitted that nothing is impossible because the situation was “very complicated” and “out of control”.

Fire in Portugal

Neighboring Portugal is also experiencing the hell of several forest fires at the same time. The very high temperatures even required a death. The charred body of a 50-year-old woman was found in a corn plantation. It happened in Boa Vista, on the outskirts of Leiria, halfway between Lisbon and Porto. A terrible discovery, in the middle of the country, that scared the neighbors and brought the Portuguese back in 2017. Then 66 people died in the big fire in Pedrógao Grande.

The Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation in Portugal gave another sad figure: More than 20,000 hectares have been lost in the neighboring country since the beginning of the year. Not only that, but the vast majority of them burned in the past week. This number will no doubt increase as the fires are still not under control at several points.

In continental Portugal, no region is without risk: from Viana do Castelo, next to Galicia; to the Algarve, bordering Andalusia. And even the capital of Lisbon is on alert, witness the closure of the playgrounds in the Olivais district.

The most serious situation is in Leiria and the surrounding area. Authorities are already talking about “destruction”. On Wednesday afternoon, Portugal’s civil defense registered 19 active fires across the territory. The Portuguese army is deployed to help the fire brigade and the population. There are more than 3,500 firefighters and soldiers fighting the devastating tongues of fire.

Heat wave does not help

What makes the circumstances for the firefighters even more difficult is that the heat wave is now in its critical phase. The new temperature record is 45.6 degrees in Almonte (Huelva), closely followed by 45.4 degrees in Olivenza (Badajoz) or 45 in the capital Badajoz. Extremadura was ranked as the second most affected community in the country after Andalusia. Morón de la Frontera (Sevilla) took ‘fourth place’ with 44.8º.

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