By Euro Weekly News Media • 07 May 2014 • 8:10
Montgo: Fire was begun deliberately.
A forest fire in the Montgo national park in Denia devastated almost 40 hectares of land.
A party of four British walkers had to be led to safety after the fire cut off their route down from Montgo.
They phoned emergency services who then led them to a different route. up to 50 residents were evacuated due the choking smoke, although no one was hurt.
The blaze which broke out in Jesus Pobre took 24 hours to extinguish completely and was almost certainly deliberate.
Firemen and aircraft had to continue dampening the smouldering area the following day to prevent the strong Poniente winds from rekindling the flames.
Residents in the adjoining area were evacuated from their homes although they were endangered less by the flames than the thick smoke blown in their direction.
No homes were materially damaged but although the 50 or so householders were officially informed that they could return later that night, many preferred to stay elsewhere with family or friends.
Owing to continuing drought, Alicante province is still on the maximum level of alert with a ban on anything posing a fire risk conditions.
Early rumours that the Montgo blaze was caused by a barbecue were immediately dismissed by Serafin Castellano, head of the regional government’s Interior department.
Subsequent investigations by the Guardia Civil’s nature protection unit, Seprona, and the regional Environment department confirmed that the fire was deliberate.
An examination of the area where the fire began revealed that accelerant chemicals were used, Seprona officers said.
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