In northern and central Spain more than 80 major wildfires have been raging in recent days. The regional authorities have requested assistance from the government.
The situation is very bad in Cantabria and regional president Miguel Angel Revilla describes the situation as “an absolute crisis”. Strong winds in the area, combined with the dry ground after this autums drought hampers the efforts to extinguish the fires. Currently there are around 70 fires raging in Cantabria. On Sunday the Ministry of the Environment put two water bombers into work and the military has also been summoned.
Also in Asturias and the Basque Country there are a number of wildfires. In Asturias a helicopter that took part in the extinguishing work crashed on Wednesday and the pilot died in the accident. In Asturias there were at most 20 fires, of which 8 are now under control.
It is also burning in central Spain. In the region of Castilla y León fires are raging and a fire plane is now being placed in service there too.
It is unusual with natural fires in December in Spain, but the low rainfall and a warm autumn has made the terrain susceptible to fires. Wildfires have so far destroyed more than 54,000 hectares of forest and farmland this year. This is twice as much as the previous two years combined. Most fires occurred during the summer.
There is every reason to be extra careful with fire in the nature in this dry year.