Spain: hundreds of simultaneous fires ravage forests in Asturias
Forest fire in Spain (illustration image). At the end of March, 121 simultaneous fires took place in Asturias from Cangas de Onis in the east to Luarca in the west. © Pedro Armestre / AFP
Text by: RFI Follow
In Asturias, a region in northern Spain, fires are burning in an unprecedented way. It is - in fact - some 120 fires started simultaneously from east to west of the region known for its green valleys and deciduous forests. "The full weight of the law will fall on the criminals," said Regional Minister for Social Cohesion and Rural World Alejandro Calvo. Spain is just recovering from a gigantic fire that burned nearly 4,700 hectares in the Valencian region.
With our correspondent in Spain, François Musseau
Environmental terrorism against the backdrop of climate change: this is the expression that we hear most on the country's radios, after the outbreak of 121 simultaneous fires in Asturias from Cangas de Onis, in the east, to Luarca, further west.
A total of 400 people were evacuated, eight colleges were closed, the main highway in the region was cut. But what concerns most is knowing the identity of the people who caused these very many fires at the same time.
Triggered at the worst time
Because the regional authorities are convinced that these fires are of criminal origin, and that they were started at the worst possible time, while Asturias is swept these days by strong and dry winds from the south, something unusual in this season and linked, said the regional government, to climate change. According to the national news agency EFE, these arson attacks could have a relationship with a recent regional law allowing herders to recover 15,000 hectares of burnt land for their herds.
► Read also: Spain affected by its first big fire of the year 2023
Newsletter Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox
Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application
Read on on the same topics:
- Natural disasters
- Climate change