SPAIN: In Spain’s Valencia, the very first significant wildfire of the year destroyed more than 4,000 hectares (9,900 acres) of woodland and compelled 1,500 residents to flee their homes, as per reports.
According to emergency services, a fire that has charred more than 4,000 hectares has been contained. People described escaping their homes while still leaving their pets behind.
“How am I supposed to feel? Terrible,” resident of the city stated. The 24-year-old resident of Puebla de Arenoso, who had to evacuate the area, added that “our town is burning, our life is burning, our animals were there, and no one can tell us anything.”
Emergency services said on Saturday that more than 500 firefighters, assisted by 20 planes and helicopters, were battling the conflagration close to the community of Villanueva de Viver. They said, “They had been able to prevent the fire from spreading to other regions.”
Valencia’s president, Ximo Puig, told reporters that the fire’s “voracity” was increased by the region’s summer-like temperatures of roughly 30 °C (86 °F). According to the local daily Las Provincias, authorities thought a spark from a brushwood-gathering machine may have ignited the fire.
The meteorological office Aemet predicted last week that the weather along Spain’s northeastern Mediterranean coast will be drier and hotter than usual this spring, raising the risk of fires.
An unusually dry winter in parts of southern Europe has sparked worries that the deadly flames from the previous year may recur.
According to estimates from the European Commission (EC), almost 785,000 hectares were destroyed in Europe last year, which is more than double the yearly average over the previous 16 years.
The European Forest Fire Information System of the Commission reports that 493 fires burned down a record 307,000 hectares of land in Spain.
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