Spain battles wildfires as heatwave eases

Monday, Jun 20, 2022

MADRID: Emergency services battled several wildfires on Sunday in northern Spain as an unseasonable heatwave that gripped the country for the past week finally eased.

The most alarming blaze in the northwestern Sierra de Culebra mountain range has already destroyed over 25,000 hectares, the regional government said. It started on Wednesday during a dry thunderstorm but firefighters said cooler overnight temperatures had helped them make gains in their battle against the flames.

Residents of some 20 villages who were evacuated from their homes were allowed to return home Sunday morning due to the improved situation, local officials said. Several roads reopened and a high-speed rail link between Madrid and the northwestern region of Galicia, which was closed Saturday due to the blaze, reopened, they added.

Elsewhere in Spain, smaller wildfires were also raging in the northwestern region of Catalonia and the northern Navarra region, one of the few areas of Spain where temperatures remained unusually high on Sunday.