The fires raging across Spain this Friday have already burned thousands of hectares and led to the evacuation of more than 3,000 people from the Puy du Fou amusement park, in the midst of an extreme heat wave.
The most devastating of them, fanned by "changing winds" in direction and "the heat", burned nearly 9,000 hectares in the Sierra de la Culebra (Northwest), said the regional authorities of Castile and -Leon.
More than 200 residents of this mountainous area near the border with Portugal had to be evacuated as the flames spread, they added.
Another fire that broke out on land adjoining the Puy du Fou Spain park, near Toledo, in the Castille-la-Manche region (center), led to the evacuation of visitors and employees.
#iftoledo tremendo incendio muy cerca de @PuyduFou_espana que ha sido desalojado, peligra la zona del espectáculo de raptors.
— Felipe Perea (@FelipePereaH) June 17, 2022
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Night show canceled
"Given the fire that broke out on land adjoining the Puy du Fou, the park management decided to evacuate the site and cancel the night show for safety reasons", indicated the management. of this subsidiary of the famous French park, which opened its doors last year.
In total, "2,500 visitors and 700 employees" as well as "200 birds and 55 horses" were evacuated but no one was injured or even "endangered", added the management of the park in a press release.
In the northeast of the country, hundreds of firefighters were still battling several other fires in Catalonia on "the most complicated day of this episode in terms of the weather", according to them.
A fire that broke out near Baldomar, in the province of Lérida, destroyed about 1,000 hectares of forest, according to the authorities.
In the neighboring region of Aragon, at least 1,200 hectares were burned by a fire in the municipality of Nonaspe, the prefecture said.
'Can't deny' climate change
Speaking at a conference organized in Madrid on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Drought and Desertification, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez paid tribute to firefighters "who risk their lives on the front line of fires".
These forest fires broke out when Spain was affected, like France or Italy, by an extreme heat wave, a direct consequence of climate change, according to scientists.
According to the Spanish Meteorological Agency (Aemet), temperatures once again crossed 40 degrees in several central areas, such as Toledo or Ciudad Real, in the northeast, such as Zaragoza or Lérida, and in the south of country, as in Cordoba.
This heat wave, unusual at this stage of the year in Spain, has caused an explosion in temperatures since last weekend, with peaks of up to 43 degrees, and is expected to last until Saturday.
Continuous heat waves
Spain, which this year experienced its hottest May since the beginning of the century according to the meteorological agency, has already gone through four episodes of extreme temperatures over the last ten months, including this one.
"We are facing temperatures that are no longer anecdotal," insisted Pedro Sanchez.
We are "facing a process that is impossible to deny, in the face of scientific evidence (…) Global warming leads to the multiplication of extreme climatic events, such as the heat wave that we are currently experiencing", he insisted. .
The Mediterranean countries, including Spain, are among the areas of the world most affected by the lack of water and the consequences of climate change.
According to the Spanish government, 74% of the country faces a risk of desertification.
Heat wave: Up to 43 degrees still expected in Spain
Spain: Nearly 2,000 people evacuated due to a violent fire in the south of the country