19th May 2024
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As temperatures rise in Spain, the first wildfire of the year burns over 500 hectares

As temperatures rise across Spain, the country has already seen its first wildfire of the year, which burned through through more than 500 hectares near Spain’s Costa Blanca and forced 180 people to flee their homes, officials said on Monday.

The fire began on Sunday near Tárbena in the Valencia region (Alicante province) as temperatures reached 30C, which is unusually high for the season.

Heat, wind and low humidity fuelled the blaze which media reports said may have started with an agricultural fire.

‘The fire is still active’ after a ‘complicated’ night for firefighters, the region’s emergency services wrote on X (formerly Twitter), saying the blaze had destroyed ‘more than 500 hectares’ of land.

‘Around 180 people have been evacuated’ from the two worst-hit areas, Pilar Bernabé, the central government representative in Valencia, told public television.

Eight air units battled the blaze alongside firefighters and troops from the UME military emergency unit which is called in to help with larger fires.

According to the AEMET national weather service, temperatures rose above 30C in more than 65 areas across Spain on Saturday, including places as far north as the Pyrenees, Galicia and the Castilla y León region.

Tárbena is about 20 kilometres from the coast, near the coastal resort of Benidorm.

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