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

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An active fire in Ávila, in the center-west of Spain, devastated 5,000 hectares of forest, forcing about 600 residents to be evicted this Sunday in the heat of the heat wave in the country, which has already broken its record of maximum 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, along with strong gusts of wind of more than 70 km / hour registered in the zone, according to the regional government.

The fire “right now surely exceeds 40 kilometers in perimeter and possibly is already over 5,000 hectares” burned, said José Ángel Arranz, general director of Natural Heritage and Forest 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 already burned 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 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.

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– Heat record –

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).

The peak was reached after 5:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. GMT) in Montoro, in the Alto Guadalquivir, when the thermometers of an AEMET automatic station registered 47.4 ºC, one tenth above the record measurement that the same place had registered on July 13, 2017.

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