The heat rises, the fires tighten: the fire burns 8,500 hectares in Zamora

The heat rises, the fires tighten: the fire burns 8,500 hectares in Zamora

Neither the heat nor the fire give a truce this Friday. Temperatures will be even higher this Friday in practically all of Spain, which has turned the fire risk map bright red: the entire Peninsula and the Balearic Islands are at extreme risk of fire. Only the Canary Islands, Galicia, the line with Portugal (except the one that runs through the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca) and isolated points of the coast are saved. Even the Cantabrian coast is at extreme or very high risk. The State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) forecasts significantly high temperatures for this Friday in Andalusia and storms in the eastern interior that may be locally accompanied by very strong gusts of wind. In Madrid, for example, it will be hotter: the maximum in the mountains will exceed 36-37 degrees, and in the center and south it will reach 40º. The fire that is most worrying now is that of the Sierra de la Culebra, in Zamora, which already affects between 8,500 and 9,000 hectares, according to estimates of the Ministry of the Environment of Castilla y León. Two of the four fires in Catalonia have been stabilized. Firefighters focus their efforts on the flames in Artesa de Segre and Lladurs, both in Lleida.

This Friday's fire risk map.
This Friday’s fire risk map.

The first heat wave of the year in Spain will give its last squeeze this Friday, with 40 provinces spread over 14 autonomous communities with warnings for high temperatures, just the day before the early heat wave officially ends. Aemet’s prediction indicates that the only provinces that are spared this Friday from the suffocating heat are Asturias, the Canary Islands and Galicia, as well as the provinces of A Coruña, Asturias, Cádiz, Huelva, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lugo, Málaga, Ourense, Pontevedra and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Six evicted villages in the Sierra de la Culebra

The flames advance uncontrollably and have forced the eviction of six towns at dawn in the Sierra de la Culebra, reports John Navarro. The operation to extinguish forest fires of the Junta de Castilla y León, dependent on the Ministry of the Environment, has raised to between 8,500 and 9,000 the hectares affected in the fire that devastates the Sierra de la Culebra hunting reserve, at west of the province of Zamora. The regional government has pointed out that figure this Friday compared to the 900 hectares in which it estimated the burned area on Thursday afternoon.

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The rapid advance of the flames during the night has been due to the strong winds with gusts of up to 40 kilometers per hour and the impossibility of working the aerial means, as well as the affected surface, with a pine canopy fire from which it is almost impossible your control. Throughout the night, the fire has advanced in a westerly direction and has forced the evacuation of the towns of Cabañas de Aliste, Palazuelo de las Cuevas, Las Torres de Aliste, Pobladura de Aliste, Mahíde and San Pedro de las Herrerías.

Fight against the fire in the Sierra de la Culebra, in Zamora.EMILIO FRAILE (Europa Press)

Efforts are concentrated in Artesa de Segre and Lladurs

Catalonia faces several fires that burn at the same time. The heat peak is expected for this Friday and will arrive with several active fires in the Tarragona and Lleida regions. The Fire Department of the Generalitat managed to stabilize the fire in Corbera d’Ebre (Tarragona) early Thursday morning, which has burned some 400 hectares of land, while the evolution of the fire in Lladurs, in Lleida, which despite having burned only a hundred hectares, has great growth potential. At 11:30 this Friday it was perimeter, but not stable. According to the Fire Department, which maintains around twenty crews in Lladurs, in the Solsonès region, the fire is still active, with a very long right flank and a very unstable perimeter, with the potential to burn up to 50,000 hectares.

Regarding the fire in Artega de Segre (Lleida), the head of the Fire Brigade operation, David Borell, has assured that the right flank is still stable and that the left is burning, although within the perimeter of 5,000 hectares from which they foresee that the flames, reports Efe.

It has also been possible to stabilize this Thursday that of Castellar de la Ribera (Lleida). However, the mayor of the town, Claustre Sunyer, has explained that this Friday will still be a difficult day due to the high temperatures, for which she has asked “not to let our guard down”. The councilor has celebrated that the fire has not caused human damage and that “the houses have been saved” of the neighbors, although she has lamented that fields and forests in the area have been destroyed. Firefighters will be able to focus on the most active fires in Artesa de Segre and Lladurs.

Controlled and monitored the fire in the Sierra de Leyre

General view of the consequences of the fire in Sierra de Leyre.Eduardo Sanz (Europa Press)

The fires declared last Tuesday in the Sierra de Leyre, Tafalla-Larraga and Olleta-Leoz, in Navarra, are stabilized, with no outbreaks in recent hours. Checkpoints of the parks of the Navarra Fire Service have remained overnight in the areas affected by the fires that broke out late last Tuesday to avoid possible outbreaks from the embers, reports the Provincial Government. Those responsible for the extinction operation will evaluate the situation this morning to decide whether to go from the stabilization phase, in which the fires are still officially, to the control phase. Likewise, the General Directorate of the Interior could deactivate Level 2 of the Emergency Plan for the Risk of Forest Fires, which was activated due to the evidence that the fire, especially in the case of the Sierra de Leyre, could not be suffocated exclusively with the means of the Foral Community and there is a potential risk for the population. Firefighters checkpoints, with personnel from the Environmental Guard and Provincial Police agents, monitor the perimeter of the burned land and continue with the work of finishing off and refreshing stumps and smoldering embers.

Aragon burns in Nonaspe

The flames that are of concern in Aragon are those of the fire declared in an agricultural area of ​​the Zaragoza municipality of Nonaspe, which has destroyed at least 1,200 hectares, many of them cultivated, pushed by the wind of up to 30 kilometers per hour. Aragón enters tomorrow, Saturday, in the red level due to the “extreme risk” of fires. “We have not known, or we have not been aware of such an extreme and dangerous situation”, the Minister of Agriculture, Joaquín Olona, ​​told Cadena SER.

The flames of Almonaster la Real (Huelva) are worrying

In Andalusia, the fire declared in the municipality of Algatocín (Málaga) has been completely extinguished, while those responsible for the Infoca Plan consider the fire that has been burning since yesterday afternoon in the municipality of Rosal de la Frontera, in the province from Huelva. The Infoca is also working to control another fire declared shortly after 2:00 p.m. yesterday at the Finca de Lima area in Almonaster la Real (Huelva), where 18 forest firefighters, an Environment agent and two pumpers have been working all night.

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