Evacuation orders lifted as Spain wildfire stabilised | World News

Firefighters managed to stabilize a wildfire that has ravaged large swathes of land in eastern Spain on Sunday, allowing officials to lift all remaining evacuation orders.

The fire, which started on Monday near Bejis, in the east of the Valencian Community, has destroyed more than 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of land and caused the evacuation of about 2,200 people.

Reconnaissance flights on Sunday showed that it “no longer had an active front” and can be considered “stabilised”, regional Interior Minister Gabriela Bravo told reporters.

Firefighters said reduced winds, cooler overnight temperatures and higher humidity levels had allowed them to contain the fire.

But Bravo warned that high temperatures were still expected on Monday, with strong winds that could reignite the fire.

Earlier on Sunday, the regional president of Valencia, Ximo Puig, said that all remaining evacuees could return to their homes.

“Now is the time to return to normal, with caution,” he said.

Local officials had already lifted evacuation orders for two towns, Bejis and Toras, on Saturday because the threat of the flames had subsided.

About 20 planes were deployed on Sunday to fight the fire, compared to 42 the previous day.

Another large forest fire that broke out last Saturday about 200 kilometers further south in the Ebo Valley was brought under control on Sunday, Puig said.

It has swept away about 12,000 hectares of forests, bushes and farmland.

The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, will visit the fire damage with Puig on Monday, the minister said in a statement.

The blazes are among nearly 400 that have broken out in Spain so far this year amid a series of punishing heat waves and long droughts that have devastated more than 283,000 hectares of land, more than triple of the total area destroyed in 2021.

Areas in neighboring Portugal have also suffered devastation.

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