Rescuers are still battling wildfires in Spain, one of which has already burned 200,000 acres in the northwestern part of the country, on the last day of an extreme and unprecedented early heat wave.
The most significant of these fires led authorities to evacuate 14 villages, evacuating hundreds of residents in the Sierra de la Coulembra, a mountain range in the Castile-Leon region near the border with Portugal.
According to the regional authorities, some of them were able to return to their homes this morning, as the flames were removed from the specific settlements.
But the fire “remains active”, the government of Castile-Leon stressed, citing “adverse” meteorological conditions, with a dry wind and high temperatures.
In total, almost “197,650 acres have been burned” in this huge fire, he explained.
Spanish firefighters are continuing to fight other fires in Caudiel, in the Valencia region (southeast), in Artesa de Segre, in Catalonia (northeast), where a fire that has been going on since Wednesday has already burned 16,000 acres.
Other fires have been brought under control, mainly in the Iruella Valley, near Avila (west), and in the Toledo area (center), where nearly 9,000 acres were burned near the Pui du Fu amusement park.
As a result of this fire, almost 3,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes yesterday, Friday, from this park that was inaugurated in March 2021. The fire was brought under control “the park reopened” today, its management explained to AFP.
These fires are occurring while Spain has been facing for a week now an extreme and unusual for this time of year heatwave, which is considered by scientists as a consequence of climate change.
According to the Spanish Meteorological Service (Aemet), very high temperatures were expected today mainly in Toledo (41 degrees Celsius) and in the Evros valley, at the foot of the Pyrenees, with the highest values, 42 and even 43 degrees Celsius, expected in Zaragoza .
The heatwave, which also affects France and Italy, is expected to end tomorrow, Sunday, thanks to a mass of colder air from the west, according to Aemet.
Spain, where May this year was the hottest since the beginning of this century, according to the meteorological service, has already experienced four episodes of extreme temperatures in the last ten months, including the heat of these days.