Wildfire in Spain forces more evacuations

A wildfire in Spain forces more evacuations, forced the evacuation of nearly 2,500 people from their homes in three villages in western Spain, local authorities said Saturday.

More than 1,400 people have been forced to evacuate from their homes overnight, as wildfires spread in three villages in Western Spain on Friday and another 1,000 residents were evacuated from the Town of Hoyos on Saturday, officials said

The fire started in the Sierra de Gata mountain range on Thursday damaging approximately more than 16,000 acres, according to reports.

“The wind fanned the flames and caused the fire to spread, forcing the evacuation of Hoyos due to the proximity of the blaze and especially the smoke,” local Red Cross official Jose Lopez Santana said in public radio.

Hundreds of firefighters from Spain including a contingent sent from Portugal, battled the wildfire backed by 16 water-carrying planes and helicopters. Firefighters took residents of a retirement home in Hoyos to a hospital in the nearby town of Coria.

“For families it is very hard not being able to remain at home but saving lives must be our top priority,” Guillermo Fernandez Vara, head of the regional government told reporters.

“When a fire is concentrated in a very specific area it is because the hand of man must have played some kind of a role, because it is not hotter and drier in the Sierra de Gata than in the rest of Extremadura,” he said.

According to firefighters, constantly shifting winds, thick smoke and difficulty in accessing the blaze were making it hard to put out the fire.

Fernandez Vara said in a video message to residents, “Right now we see everything blackened, but color will return to the Sierra de Gata, I assure you.”

The cause of the fire was still undetermined but everything seems to indicate arson, Vara said.

The wildfire comes as dry hot conditions strike other European countries.

Wildfires can be caused by nature like lava or lightning but most are caused by humans. IMAGE Screengrab Sponto News YouTube account

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