The first major environmental scare of summer was experienced in the province on Tuesday afternoon when over 20 hectares of forest was reduced to ash in the Guadalest Valley
As Bomberas and volunteer brigadistas fought the flames on land and from the air the dense smoke forced the eviction of at least 14 people from their nearby homes. At this stage the causes of the fire are still unknown
A total of 13 aircraft, 11 from the Generalitat Valenciana, two from the Ministry of the Environment and one from the Provincial Consortium, fought the blaze, together with nine fire tenders from local brigades and a further seven staff from the Diputación. The fire broke out in the early afternoon with firefighters working late into the night before they could quell the blaze.
Although they were quickly able to contain the fire to an area of 20 hectares they were unable to gain entry to the source as they remained on the perimeter to stop it spreading.
The 20 hectare figure was far removed from the nearly 500 hectares that was destroyed in the valley last summer.
The rapid intervention of the aerial support was particularly important according to sources, in ensuring that the region didn’t have to mourn another environmental catastrophe in the area. Likewise, the change of direction of the wind during the late afternoon aided the firefighters as they battles against the flames.
The area devoured by the fire is only about two kilometres from the popular town of Guadalest itself and, although the flames began in the deepest part of the valley, the direction of the wind kept it from spreading toward the residential area.
Officers responsible for quelling the flames did however evacuate seven homes near the fire. Thus, a total of 14 people were moved from their homes where, because of the proximity to the affected area, they could run the risk of being affected by the heavy smoke.