Spain forest fire displaces 700 people
Around 1,000 emergency personnel fought blaze
A forest fire in eastern Spain forced 700 people to evacuate their homes and indirectly caused a brief power cut at a nuclear plant, authorities said yesterday.
The fire had burned 10 square kilometres of land in the Valencia region, the regional government said in a statement yesterday afternoon.
“This is one of the (region’s) biggest fires in recent years,” regional president Alberto Fabra said in the statement, after visiting the affected area.
“The weather conditions are adverse, with high temperatures, little moisture and lots of wind.”
An electrical plant was evacuated in Cortes de Palla and the resulting loss of current forced a nuclear plant in nearby Cofrentes to briefly switch to generator power before normal functioning resumed, a spokesman for the region said, adding the plant is not in any danger.
The fire was started by an act of negligence during the installation of solar panels in a home, the regional government said.
Since Thursday, about 700 people had been evacuated from Dos Aguas and other surrounding villages and were being housed by local families or in shelters, the spokesman said.
Around 1,000 emergency personnel were working to fight the blaze, along with 28 helicopters and airplanes.
“The number of hectares burnt is more than 1,000 and all the work is focusing on preventing the fire from spreading and on channelling it towards an area where it is easier to extinguish,” the government statement said.
It was the latest in a series of bush fires around Spain this year, which have followed one of the dryest winters for decades.