Spain deploys its army and preemptively evacuates it due to fires: we haven’t seen a forest fire like this in years | Abroad

Spain deploys its army and preemptively evacuates it due to fires: we haven't seen a forest fire like this in years |  Abroad

In southeastern Spain, the army is deployed in the fight against a large forest fire there. It has already destroyed more than 6000 hectares of forest, forcing hundreds of residents to leave their homes.

Today, the authorities evacuated the residents of the town of Gebrik (500 people) and announced that the 400 residents of Jinalgoazil must leave their homes. More than 1,000 more people have already been evacuated for the weekend from other areas around the port city of Estepona, popular with tourists and foreign expats.

A military unit has notified Moron Military Base to join more than 300 firefighters battling the flames. The Andalusian fire-fighting agency, Infoca, described today as a critical day to get the fire under control. Infoca has released aerial photos showing the towering plumes of smoke. This makes it difficult to access the area.

The fire in Estepona © Environmental Protection Agency

hungry monster

The combination of heat, drought, and strong winds created ideal conditions for a fire. It quickly turned into a “hungry beast,” as a regional official described it earlier this week. A 44-year-old firefighter was killed Thursday while putting out the fire. Authorities say they have evidence of arson.

Wildfires are common in southern Europe during the hot, dry summer months. This year, fires have particularly erupted around the Mediterranean, exacerbated by intense August heat waves. More than 75,000 hectares (186,000 acres) of forests and trees were burned in Spain in the first eight months of the year, according to official data from Spain’s Ministry of Environmental Transformation.

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Local authorities reported that at least 6,000 hectares of forest land had been destroyed by the fire. “There hasn’t been a forest fire like this in Andalusia for years and probably in all of Spain,” said region president Juanma Moreno.

The fires were ignited due to the high temperatures of more than 30 degrees and the constant drought in the area. Due to the development of smoke, an important highway in the area was closed.

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