Spain: Wildfires Destroy Almost 50,000 Acres of Forest
Madrid- The massive wildfires in Spain have already spread to over 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres) of forest and claimed one life, local media reported on Monday, citing municipality data.
Communities of Extremadura, Castile and Leon, Galicia, Andalusia and Catalonia were affected the most, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
According to preliminary estimates, the wildfires are linked to a major heatwave, with the country experiencing temperatures nearing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
As of Sunday evening, there are 36 wildfires in Spain, with 24 raging out of control. About 2,300 people were reportedly forced to leave their homes.
A fire in the Spanish city of Zamora killed a firefighter on duty, the report said.
The wildfire has disrupted traffic on the high-speed railroad connecting Madrid and the Spanish region of Galicia, Spanish broadcaster RTVE said.
A stretch of about 70 kilometers (43.4 miles) connecting Zamora with the village of Otero de Bodas has been temporarily closed to traffic, the broadcaster noted mentioning the Spanish state-owned railroad infrastructure’s operator, Adif.
According to local reports, the fire is spreading close to the railroad tracks.
As of July 3, since the beginning of the year, wildfires destroyed over 70,000 hectares of forest, which is almost double the average for the past decade, according to Spain’s Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Emergencies