WILDFIRES continue to burn out of control in the Vall d’Ebo, Alicante, and in Bejís, Castellón, where 1,000 firefighters and 50 aircraft are working to tackle the blazes.
Valencian firefighters are being aided in both blazes by crews from Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Aragón and Catalonia, as well as the UME (Military Emergency Unit) and the Ministry for Ecological Transition.
Meanwhile, the fires which began on Saturday in Les Useres, Castellón, and Calles, Valencia, have been stabilised.
The blaze in the northern Alicante area of the Vall d’Ebo, said to be the worst to hit the province for a decade, has been raging since Saturday when it started during an electric storm. The fire has now burnt an estimated 10,000 hectares of land, while yesterday that figure was around 6,500 hectares.
Some 1,200 residents have been forced to leave, many distraught and helpless as they can do no more than watch the flames in the distance, not knowing if they are destroying homes and livelihoods which, in many cases, have been in their families for generations. The authorities haven’t ruled out more evacuations if the fire continues to spread.
The flames have been stoked by the combination of wind and high temperatures as well as the tinder dry landscape. Firefighters didn’t think the blaze would be stabilized during today (Tuesday) or that those evacuated would be able to return home.
Mayor of the Alicante town Fageca, Ismael Vidal, tweeted that his town had put the municipal swimming pool at the disposal of the emergency services and shared a video of a helicopter filling up with water.
Wildfire in Bejís, Castellón
On Monday afternoon another fire began in the Castellón area of Bejís and has so far burnt around 800 hectares of land and, like the fire in the Vall d’Ebo, the terrain is full of barrancos (dry river beds) making access to emergency services very difficult.
Early this afternoon (Tuesday) 112 evacuated the municipality of Bejís and the 500 people were rehoused in a shelter set up in nearby Viver. The inhabitants of Torás, which was also evacuated in the early afternoon, also went to Viver.
Our thoughts are with all whose homes and businesses are threatened and the very brave people fighting these dreadful fires. Just wish there was something practical we can do.