Spain advises ‘fire tourists’ to stay away from forest fires | – #Spain #advises #fire #tourists #stay #forest #fires
BARRACAS, Spain, March 26 (Reuters) – Officials “fire have urged tourists’ to stay away from fires raging in eastern Spain on Sunday, saying onlookers were putting themselves at risk and disrupting efforts to put out the flames.
Four days after a fire broke out near the village of Villanueva de Viver in the Valencia region 20 more than 500 firefighters were fighting with the support of airplanes and helicopters.
Gabriela Bravo, regional head of internal affairs of the Valencia region, told reporters that the police saw 14 cyclists who wanted to take a closer look near the scene.
“We once again ask tourists to fire do not engage in tourism, do not approach the surrounding area.
The first major of the year in Spain Forest The fire destroyed more than 4,000 hectares (9,900 acres) of forest and forced 1,700 villagers from their homes in the Valencia and Aragon regions, authorities said.
Residents said the fire could have a devastating effect on the local economy, which depends on tourism.
Jorge Grausell, 72, says: “People live here by cycling, walking and a few bars.”
“You see it and it’s a disaster for anyone who loves nature.”
Last year’s unusually dry winter in some parts of southern Europe was devastating Forest increased the fear that the fires may be repeated.
About 785,000 hectares of land were destroyed in Europe last year Europe Based on the statistics of the Commission (EC), it is more than twice the average annual indicator in the last 16 years.
of the Commission Europe Forest According to the Fire Information System, 493 last year in Spain fire It destroyed 307 thousand hectares of land.
Reporting by Graham Keeley, Miguel Gutierrez, Guillermo Martinez; Edited by Andrew Heavens
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Source – reuters