So far almost 10,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed and there is no end in sight. Because of the blazing flames, a total of around 2,000 people had to be brought to safety.
Madrid – The most devastating forest fire in the past ten years in the Spanish holiday region of Valencia has continued to spread uncontrollably.
The flames in the Vall d’Ebo area about 60 kilometers northeast of Alicante have already destroyed more than 9,500 hectares of forest, reported the state television station RTVE and other Spanish media, citing fire department spokesmen. The area corresponds to more than 13,000 soccer fields. It was the worst fire in Valencia since 2012, it said.
Because of the flames that had been blazing since Saturday, a total of around 2,000 people had to be brought to safety by Tuesday. It was not initially announced whether tourists were also evacuated. The fire raged less than 50 kilometers from beach resorts on the Costa Blanca, which are also popular with German tourists, such as Jávea and Dénia. The columns of smoke could be seen from afar, and according to media reports, the clouds of ash had also reached the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, almost 300 kilometers away.
In combination with a drought that has lasted for months, great heat and very dry air, forest fires have been occurring again and again since June. 2022 is the most devastating forest fire year for Spain since records began. According to measurements by the European earth observation system Copernicus, more than 270,000 hectares have already been destroyed by hundreds of forest fires since the beginning of the year. These 2700 square kilometers are more than the area of Saarland. dpa