Spain tells ‘hearth vacationers’ to steer clear of forest blaze By Reuters

© Reuters. A airplane throws water over a wildfire in Pina de Montalgrao, Castellon, following a wildfire raged in japanese Spain, March 26, 2023. REUTERS/Lorena Sopena


By Guillermo Martinez

BARRACAS, Spain (Reuters) – Officers urged ‘hearth vacationers’ to steer clear of blazes raging in japanese Spain on Sunday, saying onlookers had been placing themselves in danger and disrupting efforts to quell the flames.

Greater than 500 firefighters backed by 20 planes and helicopters had been battling the hearth 4 days after it broke out close to the village of Villanueva de Viver in Valencia area, emergency companies stated.

Police had noticed 14 cyclists close to the scene attempting to get a better look, Gabriela Bravo, the regional head of inside affairs within the Valencia area, informed reporters.

“We ask as soon as once more and above all vacationers to not have interaction in hearth tourism, to not method the perimeter space,” she stated.

Spain’s first main wildfire of the yr has destroyed greater than 4,000 hectares (9,900 acres) of forest and compelled 1,700 villagers to depart their houses within the Valencia and Aragon areas, officers stated.

Residents stated the hearth might have a devastating affect on the native economic system which trusted tourism.

“The folks right here stay from biking, climbing, and the few bars,” stated Jorge Grausell, 72.

“You see this and it’s a catastrophe for anybody who likes nature.”

An unusually dry winter throughout elements of southern Europe has raised fears there might be a repeat of final yr’s devastating wildfires.

Final yr, about 785,000 hectares had been destroyed in Europe, greater than double the annual common for the previous 16 years, primarily based on European Fee (EC) statistics.

In Spain, 493 fires destroyed a file 307,000 hectares of land final yr, based on the Fee’s European Forest Hearth Data System.

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