FEARS of forest fires with temperatures tipped to easily exceed 40 degrees has forced most of the natural parks in the Valencian Community to close this weekend.
Regional president, Ximo Puig, announced the news during a Friday visit to Denia.
Puig said a combination of westerly winds and dust/sand storms will make things difficult and dangerous.
A severe heat alert has been issued for most the region with average maximums of 43 degrees expected on Saturday.
All bar five natural parks which don’t have any woodland, will be closed to visitors for at least 72 hours to reduce the chance of any fires.
The closed parks are: Serra d’Irta, Penyagolosa, Desert de les Palmes, Tinenca de Benifassa, Serra d’Espada, Serra Calderona, Chera-Sot de Chera, Puebla de San Miguel, Turia, Hoces del Cabriel, Serra de Mariola, Font Roja, El Montgo, Serra Gelada, Prat de Cabanes-Torreblanca, Marjal Pego-Oliva, and the forest zone of l’Albufera natural park.
Driving on forest tracks and paths with any type of vehicle, bicycle or on foot, within the closed natural parks will be prohibited.
The exceptions are for the transit of vehicles for management, supply, maintenance, surveillance, as well as access to residences, farms or service facilities located within the same park.
Work in the closed parks will be suspended and aerial surveillance will be boosted until the closure notice ends on Monday.
Any use of fire for leisure reasons on forest land is prohibited and in areas that are 500 metres or less from woodland.
Ximo Puig urged extreme caution for vulnerable residents during the hottest times of the day over the weekend.
- HEATWAVE: How sea temperatures around Spain are rising and threatening marine life
- Spain’s winemakers battle to save harvest as heatwaves and drought takes toll