Wildfires in Spain have so far burned more than 22,000 hectares of forest since the heatwave began a week ago, emergency services have calculated.
Temperatures above 44 degrees Celsius in southern and southwestern Spain and around 40 degrees Celsius in the rest of the country, especially during the hot and dry months of May and June, have created favorable conditions for the wildfire to spread, Xinhua agency reported.
In the southwestern Spanish autonomous community of Extremadura, while the fire in the comarca of Las Hurdes remains out of control, a new fire broke out in the comarca of Valle de Jerte on Saturday, which the government of the Extremadura region said was “absolutely intentional”. He said.
In the neighboring autonomous community of Andalusia, a fire near the tourist resort of Mijas has so far destroyed nearly 3,000 hectares of wood and displaced nearly 2,000 people, although the Andalusian government’s agriculture and immigration spokeswoman, Carmen Crippo, has reason to believe the fire “was not started by natural causes.”
“We have to see if it was started by negligence or on purpose,” Crespo said, adding that firefighters were trying to put out two separate focal points.
In northwestern Spain’s autonomous region of Galicia, authorities are battling seven separate wildfires in the capital city of Ourense, which have reportedly damaged several homes.
In northeastern Spain’s autonomous community of Catalonia, roads have been cut off and some people have been displaced from their homes in the municipality of El Pont de Villomaría. The Catalan fire service asked other residents to stay indoors.
No lives have yet been lost in the blaze, three firefighters have been sent to hospital for treatment, two for heat exhaustion, and the third for a car accident on the way to the fire.
Temperatures in Spain are expected to drop slightly over the next 48 hours and then return to around 40 degrees Celsius.