9 Aug, 2021 @ 12:00
1 min read

Forest fire forces evacuation of 160 residents in Spain’s Valencia Province

Forest fire
Photo by Cordon Press

THE first major forest fire in the Valencia region this summer forced the evacuation of 160 residents in La Safor (Valencia Province) over the weekend.

Aided by high temperatures and strong westerly winds, the flames devoured 180 hectares of forest land between the towns of Rafelguaraf and Barxeta on Saturday evening (August 7).

Two urbanisations were evacuated as a precaution, although the rapid intervention of 75 terrestrial and five aerial teams of fire-fighters managed to bring the fire under control before it could cause any injuries or damage to property.

Evacuated residents were finally allowed to return home at 8pm on Sunday evening, while teams of fire-fighters patrolled the perimeter to keep watch.

However, this was not the only incident reported in the area on Saturday, as a second blaze broke out in nearby Palma de Gandia and a third in Chiva (inland Valencia Province) at almost the same time.

Turkey: Wildfires In Milas
Photo by Cordon Press

The emergency services worked round the clock for 24 hours to stop the three blazes in what was the first great test for the Valencian fire department this year.

This situation forced the extinction personnel to split their resources between the three blazes, making on-the-spot decisions about which to prioritise with the changing wind directions.

Generalitat spokespeople believe all three fires were started due to natural causes, although the Sepona environmental department of the Guardia Civil has launched an investigation into the Rafelguaraf incident due to the high frequency of cases reported in the same area over the last few years.

According to experts, the three worst conditions conspired at the weekend. Known as the ’30 rule’, there was a temperature of above 30ºC, gusts of wind of over 30 kilometres per hour, and air humidity levels were below 30%.

Weather predictions for this week are just as bad, with a new heatwave set to steadily push up thermometers throughout the region and trigger another red alert for extreme risk of forest fires this weekend.


Glenn Wickman

Glenn is a trained and experienced journalist, having obtained a BA Hons degree in Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish from Middlesex University (London) in 2001.
Since then he has worked on several English-language newspapers in Alicante Province, including 11 years at the Costa Blanca News.
He is trilingual in English, Spanish and Catalán/Valenciano, a qualified ELT teacher and translator with a passion for the written word.
After several years in Barcelona, Glenn has now returned to the Costa Blanca (Alicante), from where he will cover local stories as well as Valencia and Castellón/Costa Azahar.
Please drop him a line if you have any news that you think should be covered in either of these areas, he will gladly get in touch!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Brown Recluse Spider Loxosceles Reclusa 609x400
Previous Story

Teenage Brit loses two fingers after being bitten by spider while watching sunset on Ibiza beach

Robbers Stole From Tourists Picking Up Rental Cars At Costa Blanca's Alicante Elche Airport In Spain
Next Story

Tourists robbed while picking up rental cars at Costa Blanca’s Alicante-Elche airport in Spain

Latest from Environment

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press