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Wildfire ravages eastern Spain, devastates over 3,000 hectares of forest forcing 1,500 residents to evacuate Spain Wildfire
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Wildfire ravages eastern Spain, devastates over 3,000 hectares of forest forcing 1,500 residents to evacuate

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 24 Mar 2023, 11:57 pm

Villanueva de Viver/Spain: A massive wildfire erupted in the eastern Valencia region of Spain on Friday, resulting in the devastation of over 3,000 hectares of forest and compelling 1,500 residents to flee their homes, according to officials.

The wildfire broke out around midday (1200 GMT) on Thursday close to Villanueva de Viver, located approximately 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Valencia, and has been burning uncontrollably ever since.

According to Aitana Mas, a spokeswoman for the regional government, the wildfire has resulted in the evacuation of 1,500 individuals from eight towns in the vicinity. She further added that the inferno has engulfed over 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of land within a 30-kilometer perimeter.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated during a news conference in Brussels, "The occurrence of these wildfires, especially at such an early point in the year, provides further evidence of the climate crisis that humanity is experiencing."

He added that countries such as Spain are particularly affected and devastated by this crisis.

Last year in Spain, a record of 307,000 hectares of land were destroyed by 493 fires, according to the European Forest Fire Information System of the Commission.

In an attempt to combat the current wildfire near the village of Villanueva de Viver in Valencia, a team of firefighters employing 18 helicopters and planes worked through the night and continued their efforts on Friday.

The head of interior affairs for the region, Gabriela Bravo, confirmed that emergency services have evacuated eight communities in the area.

According to the meteorological agency AEMET, the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain will experience drier and hotter weather than usual this spring, which could raise the possibility of wildfires.

A report by the European Commission released earlier this month pointed out that there was a shortage of rainfall and higher-than-normal temperatures during the winter season.

Consequently, drought warnings were issued for southern Spain, France, Ireland, Britain, northern Italy, Greece, and some parts of eastern Europe.

Spain has been grappling with a prolonged drought due to below-average rainfall over the past three years.

Official estimates have suggested that olive oil production in the European Union for the upcoming 2022-23 season is expected to decrease by half as compared to the preceding season, primarily due to the decline in output from Spain owing to the drought.

The report by the European Commission raised concern that low water levels could have an impact on significant sectors such as agriculture, energy production, and hydropower.

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