RESIDENTS evacuated after a fire started on March 23 in the Villanueva de Viver area of Castellon province have been allowed to return home.

No flames have been detected in the last 24 hours allowing the evacuation of 1,400 people to end on Friday.

Valencian Interior Minister, Gabriela Bravo, said: “There have been some small incidents throughout the morning which were attended to immediately.”

“There are still some hot spots which will be monitored by 120 fire fighters along with seven planes,” she added.

Vigilance will be maintained over weekend especially if strong gusts of wind whip up a possible reigniting of a fire in the 4,700 hectare area devastated by the blaze.

With Friday’s return home of the 1,400 people from the towns of Montan, Montanejos and Fuente la Reina; as well as on Thursday from Torralba del Pinar, Arañuel, Higueras, Pavis, Villanueva de Viver and Puebla de Arenoso, all municipalities can return to normal after over a week of uncertainty.

Valencian region emergencies director, Jose Maria Angel, said that he was ‘optimistic’ about the situation.

He said that his main concern was about a ravine that, due to its length and difficulty in accessing it, made it tricky to remove any remaining embers.

“Overnight winds caused no problems with reigniting embers in the area,” he added.

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