• Over 100 troops fight five forest fires
  • Alicante Provincial Firefighters Consortium mobilise 92 troops and 17 vehicles, 10 helicopters and eight airplanes

By Andrew Atkinson

More than 100 troops fought against five forest fires within several municipalities in the Valencian Community.

Three outbreaks on August 8 in Vall de Gallinera, Castell de Castells and Castell de Guadalest and two fires on August 9 in Benifato and Benagéber were extinguished.

A fire alert was raised in Vall de Gallinera on August 9, with firefighters fighting the blaze throughout the day working in difficult steep areas to access the fire, along with aircraft to deal with the situation.

A firefighter had to be transferred to hospital after suffering from heat stroke.

According to the Provincial Consortium of Firefighters of Alicante, the fire had already destroyed 180 hectares.

This is the second major fire of the summer in the region, the first of August, after a fire on  July 16 in Monóvar destroyed 140 hectares.

The Alicante Provincial Firefighters Consortium mobilized 92 troops and 17 vehicles, in addition to 10 helicopters and eight airplanes.  The total area destroyed is ‘almost all of the Vall de Gallinera’, said Mayor Ignasi Mora.

Foresters continued to monitor the area to prevent any further fires.

Villalonga Deputy Mayor, Alicia Gomis, confirmed that the fire did not reach the municipality: “The flames stayed very close and the night was dangerous”, said deputy mayor Gomis.

“The fire has remained flush with the crest of the Cim de la Safor, but it is very sad to see how the affected area has been,” said deputy mayor Gomis.

Deputy Mayor Gomis and the mayor, Domingo García, and several councillors were at the Advanced Command Post to learn the details of the fire and the wind forecast, due to the fear that the flames could affect this area of La Safor.

In Castell de Castells, firefighters continued to battle against the fire that had started in the Pla de Petracos area, which was brought under control.16 hectares of scrubland and pine were destroyed.

The Mayor, Vicente Tomás Estalrich said it would be necessary to wait until August 9 to make sure the fire was extinct: “We were worried that the fire could reach the cave paintings,” he said.

A Dutch couple evacuated during the blaze have since returned home.

A third forest fire that raged on August 8 in Castell de Guadalest was under control on August 9, with 200 square metres of pine destroyed.

On August 9 as firefighters continued working in Vall de Gallinera and Castell de Castells, an alarm in Benifato, in the Marina Baixa broke out in the picnic area of the Partegat. A helicopter and Bomberos crew from Benidorm fire station attended the Gallinera fire, along with a command unit.

In the province of Valencia a forest fire affected the municipality of Benagéber with rapid intervention of the air and ground forces extinguishing the advance of the flames that lead to the fire being under control. The fire affected the Cerro de Carpio, located next to the reservoir and the Chera-Sot de Chera Natural Park.

The Valencia Provincial Firefighting Consortium mobilised two Generalitat aircraft, a co-ordinator, three forest firefighting units and three fire engines.



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