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WEATHER

Costa Blanca forest fire: Homes evacuated and roads cut as firefighters battle blaze

A forest fire raging across hillsides near Beneixama on the Costa Blanca has forced the evacuation of at least 80 people as hundreds of firefighters battle to bring it under control.

Costa Blanca forest fire: Homes evacuated and roads cut as firefighters battle blaze
Smoke billowing from the fire in Beneixama. InfoEmergencias

The wildfire broke out on Monday afternoon around 2pm in La Solana area for reasons yet to be established and has already ravaged at least 830 hectares of woodland, threatening rural homes in the area.

Fireffighting teams worked all through the night to control the flames and some families were allowed to return to their homes.

But the fire continued to rage on Tuesday, fuelled by high winds. Hundreds of firefighters, including a specialist military unit, have been brought in to battle the flames both from the ground and the air, with 26 water carrying aircraft flying over the zone.

Drone footage taken during the night revealed hot spots where the fires were still  burning.

Traffic was cut on the CV-657 road to Beneixama.

Residents across the area, even as far from the wildfire zone as La Nuncia, reported ash in the air.  

Although temperatures were expected to drop to below 30C on Tuesday, authorities in the Valencian regional government warned that there was a continued high risk of fire in the interior and coastal zone of Alicante region.

 

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WEATHER

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.

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