The fire in Navalcruz is reported to be the worst in Spain so far this year

The record high temperatures in Spain over the weekend of August 14 and 15 have been accompanied by a series of wildfires affecting various parts of the country, the worst of them affecting over 10,000 hectares of land in and around Navalacruz in the province of Ávila (Castlila y León).

Serious fires have also been keeping emergency services busy in Madrid, Castellón and numerous other provinces, but the one which broke out on Saturday morning alongside the N-502 in Navalacruz is by some distance the most extensive and is threatening forest land and livestock as well as villages and towns. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the municipalities of Riofrío, Sotalbo, Solosancho, Sobledillo and Villaviciosa and are being housed temporarily in public buildings and pavilions made available by the Town Hall of Ávila.

It is thought that the fire could have been started by a car which burst into flames after breaking down on the N-502, which is among various roads closed due to their becoming impassable on account of the flames and smoke. Among those attempting to bring the blaze under control are members of the Military Emergency Unit (UME), who have joined hundreds of firefighters from Ávila and neighbouring provinces.

Other fires reported over the weekend include one in Azuébar (Castellón) which forced the evacuation of local residents and affected 400 hectares of land, and another in Batres (Madrid).