Authorities on Thursday warned villagers to stay at home as the winds fanned smoke from the blaze towards their homes
At least 850 people have been evacuated in eastern Spain after a wildfire broke out and spread overnight, fuelled by the strong winds of Storm Ciarán.
Four villages around the coastal town of Gandia in the region of Valencia have been affected with almost 20 square kilometers of land burned.
Some 200 firefighters and army emergency unit soldiers were deployed to try to extinguish the day-old blaze near the eastern town of Montitxelvo. The regional government said it hoped five water-carrying planes and helicopters would be deployed in the operation.
Regional president Carlos Mazón has warned people to avoid travel in the area or any activities in forests that could start fires.
Winds reached some 120 kph overnight, according to state news agency Efe. Mazón said the winds were the main reason the fire in mountainous and wooded terrain spread.
The fire comes as Spain, like much of Europe, continues to face heavy rains and gales from Storm Ciarán. However, the rain and low temperatures have not helped prevent the wildfire.
Spain has been suffering a drought for the past two years and because the land is so parched, it is unable to absorb much of the storm water, which will run off into the rivers before reaching the Mediterranean.
Source: Euro News