Spain's first huge wildfire of 2023: 1,000 evacuated, 10 sq km burned

Firefighters from Spain's Military Emergency Unit (UME) battled wildfire in Villanueva de Viver in the region of Valencia, which has forced hundreds of people to be evacuated from nearby villages.

Plumes of smoke filled the sky as emergency workers battled the blaze. Footage from UME showed a group of firefighters arriving in Fuente la Reina, one of the evacuated villages, and trying to extinguish the fire overnight.

Emergency services were alerted about the blaze in the region of Valencia just before 1 p.m. local time (1200 GMT). The fire has burned more than 10 square kilometers of land, emergency services said.


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Around 15 airplanes were fighting to put out the blaze, which had forced the evacuation of at least six villages. More than 1,000 people were forced to leave their homes, Cadena Ser radio reported.

Emergency services said they had set up a refuge for 600 people and a field hospital.

More than 10 square kilometers of land has been scorched. /Reuters
More than 10 square kilometers of land has been scorched. /Reuters

More than 10 square kilometers of land has been scorched. /Reuters

Winter 2022-23 in the northern hemisphere was the second warmest on record and unusually dry, EU scientists said earlier in March. In western and south-eastern Europe it was drier than average over the winter, while the month of February saw record low levels of soil moisture in some areas, the scientists said.

Figures compiled by the European Commission's European Forest Fire Information System indicate that last year was the worst on record for Spanish forest fires, with 493 blazes destroying 3,070 square kilometers of land.


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Source(s): Reuters

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