Three-quarters of Spain ‘at extreme risk’ of fires

Seventeen Spanish provinces have been put on a state of high alert by the government's weather agency as a heatwave spreads across the country.

Three-quarters of Spain 'at extreme risk' of fires
Fires have already led to forced evactuations of some parts of Spain this summer. Photo: PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP

The State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has issued a map showing the probability of fires across different parts of Spain.

Almost the entire country has been designated as at 'extreme' or 'very high' risk, according to national daily ABC.

The only exceptions are the Mediterranean coast, parts of the Pyrenees, certain areas in Cantabria and the Atlantic coast.

On the Canary Islands, the larger islands are considered to be in the most danger.

Seventeen provinces have been put on alert due to high temperatures in central and southern Spain, where temperatures are expected to once again climb above 40ºC.

Storms are also expected in the north-east.

Fires have already blazed across some areas of Spain this summer, leading to forced evacuations in Galicia and Majorca.

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Barcelona fire kills four, including two children

A fire ripped through an abandoned bank occupied by squatters in central Barcelona on Tuesday, killing four people, including a baby and a three year-old boy, Spanish firefighters said.

Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people.
Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

“While we were battling the fire, we found four people. Emergency services tried to revive them but unfortunately they failed, they could not do anything to save them,” the head of the firefighting operation, Ángel López, told reporters.

Firefighters rescued four other people who were inside the building while putting out the blaze, he added.

Those four were treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters rushed to the scene at around 6 am after being warned that a blaze had broken out in the building, Mr Lopez said.

While Mr López said it was not clear how the four dead people were related, Barcelona-based daily newspaper La Vanguardia said they were all members of a Romanian family.

A spokesman for Catalonia’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, said an investigation had been opened into the causes of the fire.

In December 2020, four people were killed after a blaze ripped through an industrial complex occupied by squatters, many of them African migrants, near Barcelona.

Over 100 squatters were believed to be living in precarious conditions at the abandoned complex in Badalona, a suburban town north of the city.

In addition to the four deaths, more than 20 people were injured in the blaze.