The wave of forest fires that have been raging in Spain since last week is not letting up. The fires continue to devastate thousands and thousands of hectares across the country. According to the data provided by the regions, in the last week the fires have burnt more than 30,000 hectares and caused thousands of people to leave their homes. In the first six months of this year 69,859 hectares were burnt – the worst record since 2012.
According to Aemet, the state weather agency, the heatwave (one of the major factors in the outbreak of the fires) officially ended on Monday but the situation in Galicia, Extremadura and Castilla y León is not improving. Today (Tuesday, 19 July) Renfe was forced to suspend trains between Madrid and Galicia due to the ferocity of the flames in the provinces of Zamora and Ourense.
Castilla y León
Two dead, fifteen injured, 25 municipalities evacuated and 6,000 people evacuated is the damage, so far, from the two major forest fires that remain active in the province of Zamora.
The first of these, the Losacio fire, has already burnt around 15,000 hectares of land since it started last Sunday afternoon. This forest fire has been the most dangerous of all those currently active in Zamora. It may have been sparked by a storm.
In the same region, a fire in Cebreros, in the province of Ávila, is also a cause for concern. The latest estimates suggest that the affected area could exceed 3,500 hectares. Part of its perimeter is under control but winds forecast may hamper firefighting operations there.
Fifrefighters continue working this Tuesday on the fire in Àger (Lleida), which has destroyed 1,700 hectares. It remains active, although it is now stabilised. The fire is affecting an area by a railway track that can't be reached by fire engines.
In Galicia a wave of fires has destroyed more than 19,000 hectares of land. The most worrying outbreaks include one in the town of Carballeda de Valdeorras, in Orense, and one in O Courel, in Lugo. A total of 1,100 people have had to leave their homes across the region. The regional government said that the fire´s characteristics are unlike any seen before.
In Extremadura, the situation has improved considerably. The fires in Las Hurdes and Casas de Miravete have been stabilised. According to initial estimates, both the Hurdes and Monfragüe fires have burnt more than 6,200 hectares. The largest area burnt was that of Casas de Miravete, with 3,239 hectares burnt, followed by Las Hurdes, with 2,864 hectares, and Valle del Jerte, with 168 hectares affected.
In Andalucía, the worst situation was in the province of Malaga. There, the Mijas fire has been considered stabilised, but the firefighters are still trying to bring it under complete control following a period of concern at the weekend.
Provisional figures released by the Junta puts the total number of hectares affected by the fire this weekend in the Sierra de Mijas, Alhaurín de la Torre and Alhaurín el Grande at 2,097 hectares. Specialist firefighters Infoca considered this fire stabilised on Sunday afternoon.
Asturias has recorded seven forest fires, six of them are under control and under review by the region´s natural environment rangers. One active fire is in Peñamellera Alta in Niserias, Pasarela de Picayos, and is being battled by firefighters from the region´s emergency service.
A fire that broke out late on Monday in the Zaragoza municipality of Ateca on Tuesday forced the evacuation of the villages Moros and Villalengua, with 400 and 300 inhabitants, respectively. The fire has burnt more than a thousand hectares of land and was, reportedly, still raging out of control.