Firefighters battle blaze in northwestern Spain

By: AFP
Published: 08:49 PM, 4 Aug, 2022
Firefighters battle blaze in northwestern Spain
Caption: burnt cars after a wildfire near the village of Verin, northwestern Spain. Firefighters were making progress in their efforts to put out a forest fire, apparently of criminal origin, which broke out on August 3 in the region of Galicia (northwestern Spain).
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Firefighters backed by more than 20 aircraft battled a wildfire in northwestern Spain which appears to have been started deliberately, local authorities said on Thursday.

Fanned by strong winds and a heatwave, the blaze has already destroyed some 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of forest and scrubland in Galicia, the regional government said in a statement.

"Everything indicates it was started intentionally," it said.

The fire started out on Wednesday in several spots near the town of Verin near the border with Portugal, which is experiencing its worst drought in a century.

They authorities said the blaze did not currently pose a threat to "inhabited areas".

Scientists say human-induced climate change is making extreme weather events including heatwaves and droughts more frequent and more intense. They in turn increase the risk of fires, which emit climate heating greenhouse gases.

Spain has battled 354 wildfires since the start of the year, fuelled by scorching temperatures and drought conditions.

The flames have destroyed nearly 230,000 hectares, more than in any other nation in Europe, according to the European Union's satellite monitoring service EFFIS.

Since the weekend, much of Spain has been in the grip of its third heatwave since June.

Temperatures are set to soar above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Thursday in the south and east.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.