AROUND 200 people evacuated due to the fire raging in the Alto Mijares and Alto Palancia regions of Castellon province were allowed to return home on Wednesday.

The blaze which started last Thursday has devastated 4,800 hectares of land but there has been no loss of life.

Residents of Villanueva de Viver and La Puebla de Arenoso along with the districts of Monzona, Los Cantos, Higueras and Pavias can return to their properties but they cannot leave their areas because the Guardia Civil will continue to cordon off roads.

Valencian Interior Minister, Gabriela Bravo, said: “The fire does not present a danger to those communities, but opening roads will enable fire tourism and traffic that will hinder work to extinguish the blaze.”

Anybody wanting to leave their towns and districts has to tell the Guardia Civil in advance and if necessary, they will be accompanied by a patrol vehicle.

It still means that around 1,400 people are staying in shelters or with families or friends.

The mayor of Montanejos, Miguel Sandalinas, says that a return for his community will not happen before Thursday afternoon or Friday morning at the earliest, depending on the state of the fire.

There are currently 500 firefighters operating at ground level backed up by 20 aerial units.

The Valencian government’s emergencies department said that Wednesday’s weather conditions offer a ‘window of opportunity’ of ensuring the blaze does not spread further.

Thursday’s weather forecast is unfavourable with unseasonal high temperatures above 30 degrees couple with strong westerly winds.

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