Firefighters battle wildfires in northeastern Spain, southwestern France and western Sardinia. West of Barcelona, over a thousand hectares of forest and farmland have already been reduced to ash.
The fire broke out on Saturday noon for an unknown cause in the municipality of Santa Coloma de Keralte, about 100 kilometers west of Barcelona. Since then, about 80 people in the area have been forced to leave their homes.
The Catalan Forest Service said the fires have so far reduced 1,100 hectares of forest and farmland to ash. According to local media, this is the largest wildfire in forested Catalonia this year. Also, parts of Barcelona have already arrived.
In addition to the local fire brigade and forest fire units, Spanish soldiers have been deployed since Sunday morning in an effort to control the fire. Meanwhile, the authorities are asking farmers in the area to plow their fields as quickly as possible to create barriers to the fire.
French wildfires under control
A fire also broke out in the mountainous region between Narbonne and Carcassonne, in the Aude department in southwestern France, on Saturday. The forest fires are under control, but not completely extinguished yet. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that this is why about 1,000 firefighters are still working, backed by firefighting aircraft. Because it will remain dry for a while and the winds may change, the fire will also have to be monitored in the coming days.
The fires cover about 850 hectares, but the cause is still unknown. There were no casualties in the fires, only one house was damaged. All 120 people who were evacuated as a precaution on Saturday were allowed to return to their homes. However, the fire caused blackouts in France, even in Spain and Portugal.
Evacuations in Sardinia
The Italian island of Sardinia is not immune either. The bushfires have reached the city of Cogliari, among other areas, and are yet to be brought under control. The village of Senarlu, north of Cogliari, has been completely evacuated. Local media reported that buildings were damaged and farmers lost crops and livestock in the fire, but no injuries were reported. Six firefighting helicopters and hundreds of firefighters and volunteers are participating in the forest fires.
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