Forest fires set to rage as temperatures soar

5th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 August 2005, MADRID – Firefighters are facing a difficult few days with three major forest fires raging on Friday and temperatures soaring across Spain.

5 August 2005

MADRID – Firefighters are facing a difficult few days with three major forest fires raging on Friday and temperatures soaring across Spain.

Authorities in León, in the north-east of Spain, announced on Friday that a fire in Pombriego had destroyed 1,400 hectares of oak and scrub.

Some 200 fire officers, using planes and bulldozers to clear fire paths, were fighting to keep the flames from reaching Las Médulas, a natural park which is UNESCO-listed because of its Roman gold mines.

The Brigade for the Investigation of Forest Fires said the early signs show it could have been started deliberated on Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday morning, the authorities sent a reinforcement fire crew of 25 people and an ambulance in case of an accident. They were joined by two rapid-assistance vehicles and a hospital helicopter.

The authorities said so far it had not been necessary to evacuate any villages, although Voces might be affected if the fire spread further.

Meanwhile, in Castilla-La Mancha, close to the border with Extremadura, firefighters were tackling another blaze. Authorities said the flames near Sevilleja de la Jara had been successfully stopped from spreading, through the use of firebreaks.

However, the district's mayor José Porras estimated that the fire could have destroyed between 800 and 1,000 hectares.

In the north-east of the country, in the mountains of San Cristóbal, in Navarra, another forest fire which had raged on Thursday afternoon was described as being under control.

Three fire helicopters and a number of fire planes had been used on Thursday until the sun went down. Then, around 50 firefighters, fought the blaze throughout the night.

On Friday morning, the air effort restarted at 7.40am.

Authorities said it was premature to speculate on the cause of the fire but said it had started near to the roadside and spread quickly due to a strong wind.

They said the flames were under control, but firefighters feared the high temperatures and wind predicted throughout Friday could reignite fires which had been extinguished.

These are the latest in a string of fires in what has been a dry summer. After 11 firefighters died in the Guadalajara fire last month, the government introduced a series of anti-fire measures, such as banning smoking and bonfires in protected zones.

However, fire professionals are also demanding more resources to tackle the problem.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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