Fire offers no respite in Valencia: over 32,000 hectares burnt

Firefighters stabilise fire in Vall d'Ebo (Marina Alta), but Bejís fire still active and moving southward

2 min
Smoke from the Bejís fire (Alt Palància) reaches the Alcubles, in the Serranos region

Flames offer no respite in Valencia, where the two main fires are still active after devastating over 32,000 hectares, especially in Vall d'Ebo (Marina Alta) and Bejís (Alto Palancia). In addition, a third fire broke out last night in the municipality of Olocau (Campo de Turia), in the Serra Calderona, although it the perimeter has been secured and the fire will soon be made stable.

The good news is that this morning firefighters have managed to stabilise the fire in Vall d'Ebo, where flames rekindled overnight in the area around Balones and Benimasot. During the night, work was done to appease these outbreaks and the perimeter of the fire was checked with drones. Numerous terrestrial means have acted in the area during the night –twenty teams of the Alicante consortium of firefighters, three units of Generalitat Valenciana forest firefighters and three fire engines–, while in the morning the aerial means joined in. This forest fire, which started last Saturday, has devastated about 12,150 hectares.

Bejís fire advancing towards the south

However, the most worrying fire at this point is the one burning out of control in Bejís, which has already burnt over 19,000 hectares and has a 120km perimeter. A total of 35 aerial means were incorporated early this Friday to the work of extinguishing the fire originated on Monday in this municipality of Alto Palancia, which has now spread to other areas of the region and is moving south. The Generalitat Valenciana emergency services explained that last night the fire had "a more virulent behaviour" but was evolving slowly during the early morning, except in the area of the Cueva Santa, in Altura (Alto Palancia), and the southeast flank.

During the night there was favorable weather, with low temperatures and a constant light wind from the northwest, according to the emergency services. From first thing in the morning, aerial means will intervene in the most active areas of the southeast and will attack the hottest points of the tail.

Flames enter the Serra Calderona Natural Park

One of the main fears with the Bejís fire and its advance in the southeast flank was that it would reach the Serra Calderona Natural Park, one of the most important environmental enclaves of the Valencian Country. In fact, the fire declared in the municipality of Olocau (Campo de Turia), is in the southeast of this natural park. This fire is located a few kilometres from the Bejís fire, which is advancing with virulence towards this direction. The emergency service has received during the early morning several warnings from the villages of Gátova, Marines and Olocau about this fire, which is located in a hard-to-acces area in Castillo del Real. Its progress is slow, but early this morning the preventive confinement of the 2,000-inhabitant town was decreed. However, the perimeter has already been secured and is about to be stabilised. According to Valencian minister for Justice, Home Affairs and Public Administration Gabriela Bravo, it could have been caused by lightning.

The other good news of the day was the extinction of a 800-hectare fire in Useras.