HomeTechFirst major wildfire of 2024 raging near popular tourist destination

First major wildfire of 2024 raging near popular tourist destination

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A wildfire is raging in Spain following scorching temperatures (Picture: Bomberos)

The first major wildfire of the season is already burning in Spain following unseasonably hot weather, forcing 180 people to flee their homes.

Firefighters are still tackling the blaze, which began on Sunday near Tarbena, around 20 miles from the coastal resort of Benidorm in Valencia, according to Ary News.

Temperatures hit 30C on the day, almost 10C above the average high for April.

 Media reports suggest it may have been started by an agricultural fire, with heat, wind and low humidity helping it to spread.

The region’s emergency services said the fire was still active on Monday after a ‘complicated’ night for firefighters, according to Ary News, adding the blaze had destroyed more than 500 hectares of land.

Pilar Bernabe, the central government representative in Valencia told local TV that around 180 people had been evacuated.

The fire is in Spain’s southeast region (Picture: Created with Datawrapper)

Troops from the UME military emergency unit joined firefighters on the ground, while eight air units assisted from above.

The AEMET national weather service reported temperatures of 30C across the country, including as far north as the Pyrenees.

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The first major blaze of 2024 follows an intense year for forest fires in 2023, with an area twice the size of Luxembourg burnt across the EU. 

In July, thousands of tourists were forced to flee Rhodes as flames tore across the island, while Turkey, Italy, Cyprus, Algeria and Tunisia were among the other Mediterranean countries left devastated by wildfires throughout the summer.

The UK was not exempt, suffering numerous wildfires across the country including what was believed to be the ‘biggest ever’ blaze after a fire in the hills above Loch Ness was visible from space.


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