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Firefighters battle new blaze in Spain’s Galicia region

Firefighters backed by more than 20 aircraft battled a wildfire in northwestern Spain which appears to have been started deliberately, local authorities said on Thursday.

Firefighters battle new blaze in Spain's Galicia region
A Canadair CL-425 firefighting airplane drops water over a wildfire near the village of Verin, northwestern Spain, on August 4, 2022. - Firefighters were making progress in their efforts to put out a forest fire, apparently of criminal origin, which broke out on August 3 in the region of Galicia (northwestern Spain) and has already destroyed 600 hectares. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Fanned by strong winds and a heatwave, the blaze has already destroyed some 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of forest and scrubland in Galicia, the regional government said in a statement.

“Everything indicates it was started intentionally,” it said.

The fire started out on Wednesday in several spots near the town of Verin near the border with Portugal, which is experiencing its worst drought in a century.

They authorities said the blaze did not currently pose a threat to “inhabited areas”.

Burnt cars following a wildfire near the village of Verin in northwestern Spain. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Scientists say human-induced climate change is making extreme weather events including heatwaves and droughts more frequent and more intense. They in turn increase the risk of fires, which emit climate heating greenhouse gases.

Spain has battled 354 wildfires since the start of the year, fuelled by scorching temperatures and drought conditions.

The flames have destroyed nearly 230,000 hectares, more than in any other nation in Europe, according to the European Union’s satellite monitoring service EFFIS.

Temperatures are set to soar above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Thursday in the south and east.

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Spain battles northwest wildfires

Spanish firefighters on Saturday struggled to contain wildfires that have ravaged large tracts in the northwest, as a third summer heat wave grips the country.

Spain battles northwest wildfires

Firefighters were battling six blazes in Galicia that have scorched nearly 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres).

Some 700 people have been evacuated from the area around Boiro, where a blaze broke out on Thursday, according to regional officials.

But no casualties have been reported so far.

“The situation remains complicated. Helicopters are not enough to control all of the homes,” the mayor of neighbouring A Pobra do Caraminal, Xose Lois Pinero, wrote on Facebook.

Near the town of Verin, by the border with Portugal, authorities were managing to contain a fire that started Wednesday and is suspected to have been arson, Galicia government said.

Temperatures hit a 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.62 Fahrenheit) high on Thursday, according to the national weather agency. They have eased since, but were expected to remain around 35C across much of the country on Saturday.

Scientists say human-induced climate change is making extreme weather events including heatwaves and droughts more frequent and more intense. They in turn increase the risk of fires, which emit climate heating greenhouse
gases.

Spain has faced 366 wildfires since the start of the year, fuelled by scorching temperatures and drought conditions.

The flames have destroyed more than 233,000 hectares, more than in any other nation in Europe, according to the European Union’s satellite monitoring service EFFIS.

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