The fire that originated last Thursday in the Castellón municipality of Villanueva de Viver, on the border with the province of Teruel, faces a key day this Sunday, after having razed nearly 4,000 hectares. The weather forecasts are very adverse, the maximum alert has been declared, the greatest risk of fires and the flames could be rekindled with force by the wind and high temperatures. On Saturday afternoon, the fire was contained, thanks to the fact that the weather unexpectedly improved and the humidity increased to 80%, which significantly helped the extinguishing efforts carried out by nearly 700 ground and air forces. The first part of this morning from Emergencies 112 of the Generalitat maintains this trend and indicates that the perimeter of between 35 and 40 kilometers affected by the fire remains stable, which does not mean that it has stabilized, but rather that it has not increased , according to the information provided by Emergencies 112 of the Generalitat.
“The forecast is that tomorrow’s weather conditions in the area of the declared fire in Villanueva de Viver will be very adverse. The wind is going to be turning northwest from the morning and intensifying, with gusts of between 50 and 60 km/h”, indicates the report sent by the official Service of the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) in the Valencian Community. In a previous tweet, it is already warned that the “northwesterly wind expected tomorrow in the area is noticeably drier than the southerly breeze that has been blowing” on Saturday.
The forecast is that tomorrow’s weather conditions in the area of the #IFVillanuevaViver be very adverse. The wind will be turning northwest from the morning and intensifying, with gusts of between 50 and 60 km/h. Wind forecast tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/aeXyO46Je6
—AEMET_C. Valencian (@AEMET_CValencia) March 25, 2023
In this sense, the regional secretary for Security and Emergencies of the Generalitat, Josep Maria Ángel, already warned on Saturday night that these circumstances, in statements to the media at the Advanced Command Post (PMA), located in Barracas . The leader stressed that the west wind, accompanied by a rise in temperatures and a drastic reduction in humidity “will mean a very complex and complicated formula” for extinction work.
In fact, the Generalitat has declared level three, the maximum, “for the extreme risk of forest fires throughout the Valencian Community. “If you go out into the mountains, remember that in forest areas or within 500 meters it is forbidden to light a fire. Pick up the rubbish and take it away if there are no containers to deposit it”, advises the regional government.
The firefighting tasks have progressed in a “very positive” way after the weather evolution this Saturday has been an “ally” for the troops deployed. Some 700 land and air media have been “favored” by a humidity load that has reached 70% at times and the wind from the Levant and not from the south, as planned, as detailed around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
In this way, this day ends “the same” as it began, without an advance of the footprint of the fire, which affects around 4,000 hectares of surface in a perimeter of between 35 and 40 kilometers, while allowing the troops to work in the “more complex” points to “reduce the risk factor” in them.
Ángel pointed out that in the northern zone, bordering the province of Teruel, the fire presents a “very very positive” evolution. For its part, the reservoir area is a “very inaccessible place” in which work has been carried out this Saturday with the aerial means, which have carried out more than 200 “very selective and precise” water discharges to “reduce the image of the flame and, at the same time, throw retardant and water”. Despite the progress, he has indicated that “there is still some concern” about the fire in this area.
Regarding the CV-195 highway, which connects the towns of Montán and Montanejos, the troops have managed to keep the perimeter of the fire “stabilized” during this past night and avoid “endangering the Sierra de Espadán natural park.” Until now, the fire has not affected any natural area, although it has affected land in the Natura 2000 network.
On the other hand, it has been confirmed that the cause of the fire originated, very possibly, in the sparks that jumped from a brushcutter used by operators of an employment plan of the Generalitat, managed by the municipalities, for rural areas. The Government delegate, Pilar Bernabé, explained on Saturday that the Civil Guard has questioned four people (the workers of the gang involved, who called to warn of the start of the fire) and reaffirmed that the fire originated from a “human factor”. during the performance of “maintenance work”.