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An intense heat wave fuels fires in Spain and triggers thermometers to record numbers

An active fire in Ávila, in west-central Spain, razed 5,000 hectares of forest Forcing some 600 residents to evict this Sunday in the heat of the heat wave in the country, which has already broken its record for the highest absolute temperature reaching 47.4 degrees, according to provisional data.

The fire, which started fortuitously on Saturday morning near the municipality of Navalacruz, benefited from the high temperatures that hit the Iberian Peninsula, together with strong gusts of wind of more than 70 km / hour registered in the area, according to the regional government.

The fire “right now surely exceeds 40 kilometers of perimeter and possibly it is already over 5,000 hectares “burned,” said José Ángel Arranz, general director of Natural Heritage and Forestry Policy of the Junta de Castilla y León.

At least 600 people from five municipalities in this area of ​​Ávila, close to the Sierra de Gredos, have been evicted as a precaution and more than 500 troops from various corporations were fighting to contain the advance of the fire with various aircraft.

There was also concern about the fire declared in Azuébar, in the interior of the Valencian Community (east), whose neighbors had to be evacuated in a preventive manner on Saturday night. Some 500 hectares had burned already at noon on Sunday due to this fire that could have started due to a dry storm, according to the regional administration.

“My solidarity with the neighbors and evicted neighbors. I imagine their pain and concern, “wrote the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, on his Twitter account, thanking the emergency teams for their work.

The intense heat wave that has hit the Iberian Peninsula for days also broke the record for the highest absolute temperature recorded in Spain, with 47.4 degrees reached on Saturday in a town in Córdoba (south), according to provisional measurements from the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET).

Peak heat

The peak was reached in Montoro, in the Alto Guadalquivir, when the thermometers of an AEMET automatic station recorded 47.4 ºC, one tenth above from the record measurement that same place had recorded on July 13, 2017.

“If confirmed, it would be the highest record measured in Spain reliably, “said AEMET spokesperson Rubén del Campo.

Shortly after, the measurement point located at the Córdoba Airport reached the 46.9 degrees, equaling the maximum record for main network stations in all of Spain, also recorded there on July 13, 2017.

Pending the validation of the data -which must be reviewed in the coming days- the intense heat wave that hits Spain remains strong this Sunday, with five regions still on high alert for extreme temperatures, and another six in orange.

Background

Although the pressure has already dropped in part of the peninsula, during the day 45 degrees could once again be exceeded in some points of the Guadalquivi Valleyr, according to Del Campo, who considers that this heat wave “due to the temperatures reached, is probably one of the most intense experienced in Spain”.

Between 2011 and 2020, the country registered twice as many heat waves as in the previous three decades, according to AEMET.

Scientists consider that this repetition of heat waves is an unequivocal effect of global warming and they estimate that this type of heat waves they will multiply and intensify in the future.

Source: AFP

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