Environment

Zamora wildfire ‘biggest disaster’ of this century in Spanish province

Fueled by record-breaking heat wave, forest fire scorches at least 61,000 acres

Alyssa McMurtry   | 19.06.2022
Zamora wildfire ‘biggest disaster’ of this century in Spanish province File Photo

OVIEDO, Spain

A wildfire in the Spanish province of Zamora has charred at least 25,000 hectares (61,000 acres) by Sunday, making it one of the largest forest fires in Spain in several decades.

Local newspaper El Correo de Zamora called it “the biggest disaster in the province so far this century.”

Lightning from a dry thunderstorm is believed to have ignited the fire, which was fueled by a record-breaking heat wave that led to tinderbox conditions across the country.

The same dangerous scenario played out in many other areas of Spain, sparking dozens of wildfires.

The biggest, however, ripped through the mountains of Zamora. Firefighters on Saturday called it a “monster” on Twitter.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated from 20 towns in the area over the weekend. On Sunday morning, they were all told they could return home.

Among those evacuated were several Ukrainian refugees who had fled the war only to face Castile and Leon region’s largest fire this century.

A temperature drop and changing winds helped put out the Zamora fire, with traffic and rail lines also being restored in the area on Sunday.

After nine days of a record-breaking heat wave, temperatures in most of Spain have finally returned to normal.

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