Fire crews gain upper hand against blazes in Spain
Firefighting crews aided by cooler temperatures made progress Monday in their battle to contain dozens of wildfires which broke out in northern Spain, officials said, a region that is normally rainy, especially in winter.
Some 300 firefighters and soldiers backed by water-dropping aircraft had managed to reduce the number of forest fires burning across the Asturias region from 99 to 47 by Monday evening, local emergency services said.
Another 18 blazes raged in neighbouring Cantabria.
The fires were being fed by strong southerly winds, with gusts of up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) an hour, and unusually warm temperatures for this time of the year, local officials said. No injuries were reported.
The president of the regional government of Cantabria, Miguel Angel Revilla, urged locals to be vigilant, warning that Tuesday’s forecast was for more “very strong winds” from the south.
Spain is prone to wildfires in summer, especially in the more arid southern regions and along its Mediterranean coastline.
But such incidents are unusual in winter, especially in rainier northern regions such as Asturias and Cantabria.