By Imran Khan • 02 April 2023 • 11:25
Image of forest fire in Spain's Asturias region.
Credit: Antonio Galvez Lopez/Shutterstock.com
Recent rainfall and a change in the direction of the wind has helped emergency workers on the ground in Asturias to control multiple wildfires across the region.
The recent fires in Asturias are being considered one of the worst since 2017 and have already resulted in the burning of over 11,000 hectares of land.
According to Cadena SER, “The UME troops and support teams from other communities will no longer be a part of the operation, which has more than 800 people working on the ground”.
Officials have also reduced the Special Civil Protection Plan for Forest Fires (INFOPA) to phase 1, due to improvement in the situation, as “there is currently no danger to people and their property”.
As per the latest information provided by the region’s Emergency Service (SEPA), “the rest of the fires will be checked and monitored by officials of the Natural Environment and the Asturian Fire Department”.
The government in Asturias has also stated that they will speed up the process of granting aid to the regions affected.
They will also be declaring the areas that have had the most impact of the fire as ‘disaster areas’.
The Military Emergency Unit (UME) of Spain has joined the effort to extinguish more than sixty simultaneous forest fires that are raging across Asturias.
According to official reports on Wednesday, March 29, many of the fires are small in size and in areas of scrubland, but others pose a much greater risk and resulted in people having to flee their houses.
The condition has been made much worse due to the bad weather conditions, which has resulted in strong gusts of winds and high temperatures of up to 29 degrees Celsius.
This, as per El Diario, has resulted in the Asturian government requesting the intervention of UME. This has also been done to raise the level of emergency to phase two.
Local reports stated that more than 500 people are working to extinguish the fires including Firefighters of Asturias, the Brigade of Reinforcement of Forest Fires (BRIF) of Tineo, personnel of forest companies, the guard of the natural environment, as well as personnel specialised in investigation origin of the fires.
Meanwhile, high-velocity wind in some areas is preventing the fire-fighting work and defensive work is being carried out. The fire in La Matosa, in Piloña, has burnt a granary and is close to some houses, so the SEPA fire brigade is working in the area with the help of a helicopter.
Officials said that “Fires causing the most amount of concern, are located in Lavadoria, in the municipality of Tineo; Torañu, in Parres and La Matosa, in Piloña”.
Almost all of Asturias at extreme risk, as according to the daily index by the Regional Ministry of Rural Affairs, 65 municipalities are at extreme risk from forest fires.
Authorities stated that 13 including include Avilés, Cabranes, Caravia, Carreño, Colunga, Corvera, Gijón, Gozón, Llanes, Peñamellera Alta, Ribadedeva, Ribadesella and Villaviciosa are at very high risk.
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A journalist, content professional, and former TEDx Speaker based in Tarragona (Spain), with a Master's in International Journalism (Cardiff, UK). Imran is an online reporter for The Euro Weekly News and covers international as well as Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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