Large Hill Fire in Berja

AND Berja Castala Hill Fire JA21The Parque de Castala in Berja (Almería) has been the scene of a large hill fire since Friday afternoon. Infoca’s work has been complicated by high winds.

Strong winds of up to 80kph have been whipping up the flames constantly since Infoca was deployed in the area at 14:40h on Friday and fire personnel had to battle the fire front during the night without the aid of air units, which are essential – Infoca air units cannot be deployed at night because of the low altitude they operate at and the danger of hitting power lines and other obstacles.

During the day, sixty fire fighters, a transport helicopter (also fitted with an underslung water bucket), as well as two Canadair, twin-engine water bombers, together with six fire trucks have been deployed to bring it under control. These Infoca assets are backed by units from the local fire service, police and Protección Civil. The people involved total around 100 at the moment.

Apart from the high winds, the terrain is very steep and rocky, making extinction work very difficult; the wind direction and the orientation of the barrancos, has coincided to spread the fire further.

The Mayor of Berja, José Carlos Lupión, informed locals that the forestry road between Berja and Castala has been closed because of the fire and the danger involved in using it: “It is essential to keep it freed up for fire-service vehicles,” he explained.

It is especially sad that the reforestation work carried out in this park, which is situated just over the Granada-Almería border, faces going up in flames. Locals from the municipality had volunteered at the end of 2019 to help replant the area with saplings.

(News: Berja, Almeria, Andalucia)

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