The fire in Bages was intentional
Forest rangers working in coordination with the police have put the case in the hands of a judge
Barcelona"The main hypothesis is that it was intentional". This is the conclusion of the investigation forest rangers have carried out into the fire that devastated 1.743 hectares and about sixty houses in Bages, between Sunday and Monday. The head of the Central Catalonia brigade, Jaume Torralba, explained it was "hard" to find where it would have started, but finally they have found the location. "It originated next to a road, in the stream of Santa Creu, in a very tough place. Because there is a lot of forest and the terrain is steep, this made it develop very quickly," he stressed.
Torralba indicated that they are working with the police and that the case is in the hands of a judge. "Once it has been sent to a judge, you have to follow the judge's guidelines and orders," he said to justify not giving any further details suc has whether they had any suspects. Torralba added that the fire which originated on July 12 in Sant Vicenç de Castellet was also intentional, but followed a different pattern than the one in El Pont de Vilomara. "The one in Sant Vicenç was at night and next to an urbanised area, while the one in El Pont de Vilomara started at midday, and 3.5 kilometres away from the centre of Vilomara, inside the forest", he pointed out.
Torralba also wanted to make it clear that, on the other hand, the fire yesterday at noon near the old landfill of Manresa was not intentional, but started after a bird of prey was electrocuted. "It fell on the ground and, in contact with the vegetation, caused the fire. I want to make it clear because yesterday there were claims it was intentional and that is untrue," he said
Truce after two scares
Firefighters have been able to stabilize the fire that started yesterday afternoon in an area of very difficult access in Àger, in Noguera, and now hope to control both this fire and that has devastated 1,743 in the Bages. This second fire, which started on Sunday afternoon in El Pont de Vilomara, was stabilised by yesterday evening and this allowed to move units by helicopter to fight the flames in Noguera. This helped work during the night and, at 9.40 am on Tuesday, the fire was stabilised after having burnt about 71.14 hectares, according to forest rangers, who point out that all the damage is located within the Serra del Montsec natural park.
Optimism in Bages
The head of the Fire Department, David Borrell, was optimistic about the fire in Pont de Vilomara, in Bages, which the Fire Department is confident they will be able to give controlled tonight if there are no restarts. Last night "there was no complicated activity", not even on the right flank, which is the most worrying because it threatens the Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt and L'Obac with a potential of 6,000 hectares. Neither the affected area nor the number of burnt houses (at least thirty, especially in the River Park housing estate) has not grown, he said in statements to RAC1.
During the early morning, 49 ground crews worked on the area of Pont de Vilomara to soak the affected area and 11 more did so in the area of Manresa, in a second fire that was brought under control yesterday at 22.46 h and where firefighters tackled small restarts and smouldering areas.
The stabilisation of the fire in Pont de Vilomara, yesterday afternoon, allowed the 200 evacuated residents to return to their homes accompanied by the emergency services. However, this only applied to those whose houses were sound. Around twenty people have spent the night in Pont de Vilomara multipurpose space because of the impossibility of returning home. This centre will remain open to cover the needs of the evacuees, according to the Civil Protection service. There are still 188 residents without electricity, all of them in the municipality of Pont de Vilomara. In the River Park housing development there is also no water supply.