Five towns evacuated in Castilla y Leon as fire spreads

Five towns evacuated in Castilla y Leon as fire spreads. image: twitter

FIVE towns have had to be evacuated in Castilla y Leon as a fire spreads uncontrollably due to the high winds

The Junta de Castilla y Leon had already declared the fires in the region as Level 1, on Saturday afternoon, in anticipation that it might last longer than 12 hours, but their worst fears have come true as the blaze increased, spreading in an easterly direction, fed by strong prevailing winds.

Nearby municipalities, including, La Hija de Dios, Mengamuñoz, and especially Solosancho, where two its annexes, Robledillo and Villaviciosa, have all had to be evacuated at dawn this Sunday morning, August 15, as the flames crept nearer, with homes in the urban areas on the outskirts of Villaviciosa being destroyed.

Jesus Martín, the mayor of Solosancho, explained that the fire has even affected the water supply of the municipality, visibly shaken as he said, “Our Sierra has been burned. It has been a very hard night that will remain in the memory of all”.

Palacios de Sotalvo, an annex of Sotalvo, was issued an order to be evacuated at around 1.30pm, with Sotalvo also evacuated later, as was Riofrio, with around 500 residents being added to the 400 that were already evacuated in the early hours of Sunday, as Avila City Council made the Carlos Sastre CUM and the North Lienzo available to the evacuees, with the support of the Red Cross and Civil Protection.

A 39-year-old forest firefighter was reportedly injured this morning in Sotalbo, and a spokesperson for the Junta de Castilla y Leon estimated that there are already more than 5,000 hectares affected by the fire, which has a perimeter of about 40km, as some 500 people from all administrations work at extinguishing the fire, including the Military Emergency Unit, which sent out new reinforcements at noon today.

Authorities have instructed ranchers to release their cattle in the Sierra so they can flee the flames, with the smoke perfectly visible from the city of Avila, where the strong smell of burning is evident, though, unlike last night, the flames are no longer visible from Avila capital.

Castilla y Leon’s General Delegation of Civil Protection and Emergencies of the Ministry of the Interior, has requested the activation of the Copernicus System for Cepeda de La Mora, a European satellite system that offers several products; atmospheric, marine, and terrestrial surveillance, as well as information in emergencies (floods, earthquakes, forest fires …..), which will show satellite images on the magnitude and affection of the fire and, therefore, will help to plan the fight against the fire in view of the real-time images of its expansion, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at