SOME 2,500 people had to be evacuated in Northern Spain after a wildfire thought to be contained flared out of control, fanned by strong gusts of wind
Emergency services evacuated the village of Anon de Moncayo in Zaragoza on Sunday (August 14) as flames approached dangerously close to their homes.
Bone-dry vegetation and the intense heat had made the task of firefighters difficult, but by this morning (Monday August 15) the blaze was once more under control, with 6,000 hectares having been scorched.
A reason for the blaze has not yet been found, although it is thought to have a single point of origin.
Meanwhile a second fire started in Alicante on Saturday night and is still being tackled. So far more than 3,500 hectares has been scorched in the Vall d’Ebo.
Some 250 firefighters and 16 aircraft are tackling the blaze. Several homes have been evacuated in the municipality of Pego. Residents have been put on alert to be ready to flee as swirling winds are making it difficult to predict in which direction the fire will advance.
This has been the worst start to a summer fire season in Spain since record began.
By mid July dozens of wildfires had devoured tens of thousands of hectares and forced thousands to be evacuated from their homes.
An estimated 200,000 hectares of Spanish countryside had already been ravaged according to the figures released by the European Forest Fire System, overtaking the carnage of 2012 when some 189,000 hectares were destroyed in what was until now the worst summer on record.