Winds from Storm Ciaran whip up wildfire in Spain as 850 people are evacuated

3 November 2023, 15:04

A wildfire in Spain
Spain Wildfire. Picture: PA

The regional government of Valencia said it hoped five water-carrying planes and helicopters would be deployed in the operation.

A wildfire fuelled by storm winds in eastern Spain has burned 4,900 acres of land and forced the evacuation of 850 people from four towns, officials said.

Some 200 firefighters and army emergency unit soldiers were deployed to try to extinguish the blaze near the eastern town of Montitxelvo.

The regional government of Valencia said it hoped five water-carrying planes and helicopters would be deployed in the operation.

Regional president Carlos Mazon called on people to avoid travel in the area or activities in forests that could start fires.

The wildfire advancing near the eastern town of Palma de Gandia in Valencia, Spain
The wildfire advancing near the eastern town of Palma de Gandia in Valencia, Spain (Andreu Esteban/AP)

State news agency Efe said winds in the zone reached 75mph overnight. Mr Mazon described the winds as the main element fuelling the fire in the mountainous and wooded terrain.

The fire comes as Spain, like much of Europe, continues to face heavy rains and gales from Storm Ciaran. However, the rain and low temperatures have not helped prevent the wildfire.

Spain has been suffering a drought for the past two years, intensified by climate change.

Because the land is so parched, it is unable to absorb much of the storm water, which will run off into the rivers before reaching the Mediterranean.

By Press Association

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