Wed, 31 May 2023

MADRID, March 28 (Xinhua) -- A wildfire that started in Spain last Thursday remains out of control, after burning around 4,500 acres of land and forcing 1,600 people to evacuate the area, emergency services have said.

Civil Guards evacuated the municipalities of Montan, Montanejos and Fuente la Reina. Residents had already been forced to leave eight other small towns and villages last Thursday.

Around 500 firefighters are currently battling the flames, assisted by 23 aerial units.

Regional emergency services said that cool temperatures of around 7 degrees Celsius, along with high humidity levels (50 percent) made it possible to bring the flames under control overnight. They vowed to continue working "to defend the evacuated areas and to protect the lives and property of the affected people."

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the area affected by the wildfire on Monday. He said: "The climate emergency causes the damage that we are seeing, and it is very relevant for us all to work together in prevention and also in reaction, as we are seeing at the moment."

Sanchez thanked the emergency services for their work, promising that the government will return the area to its natural state once the flames are extinguished.

Temperatures are expected to rise over the coming days, with an unseasonal high of around 30 degrees Celsius predicted by the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) for the end of the week.

The summer of 2022 was the hottest on record in Spain, and over 300,000 hectares of land were lost to wildfires. In 2021, 84,827 hectares of land were lost to wildfires.

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