A Dutch company caused a massive forest fire near Saragoza in Spain, the Amsterdam-based reforestation company Land Life said in a press release. According to the company, the fire started on Monday when a spark jumped from an excavator. “Fortunately, no one has been injured,” the company said.
The Land Life workers quickly alerted authorities, but they couldn’t prevent the fire from turning into a massive forest fire. Firefighters are still working to control the fire. According to local broadcaster RTVE, the fire already destroyed some 14,000 hectares of forest and led to over 2,000 evacuations.
Land Life director Francisco Purroy said they are “devastated” by the destruction of scrub, grassland, and pine trees, especially as a company dedicated to restoring degraded land. “We at Land Life are deeply affected by the events and offer our full cooperation to the authorities.”
According to the company, “the reforestation works were carried out in accordance with local regulations and following strict preventive measures to deal with the increased risk due to extreme conditions of drought and heat.”
“We will analyze and investigate what rules and ways of working we can apply,” Purroy said. “For the time being, we are suspending all site preparation in areas with a high risk of wildfire. The safety of local communities and people working on nature restoration is the first priority.”
Authorities closed the A2 highway between Madrid and Zaragoza due to the fire. They also shut down train connections, according to NOS. Javier Lamban, the president of the Aragon region where the fire is raging, called the situation “serious and very worrying” on Thursday.