Barcelona’s picturesque scenery is in danger of being swept away and reduced to cinders. Initially starting over 70 kilometres west of the beautiful city of Barcelona, the flames of a fresh wildfire have since consumed massive tracts of land, forcing many to evacuate. While flames continue to burn across the countryside, local officials have assured citizens that the encroaching fire is being dealt with, and they remain ever vigilant to changes in the wind. But what was the spark that started this blaze, and how much land was lost to the flames?
Officials stated the fire broke out Sunday near the town of Odena. Thankfully, weak winds and a high humidity helped to slow the fire’s rapid growth. Without the favorable conditions aiding officials in fighting the flames, the potential loss of land and life would have reached terrible numbers. That said, as of 1:30 pm today, the fire has burned a total of 1,235 hectares of land (4.7 square miles).
Turning himself over to the proper authorities, the cause of the blaze was more than repentant for his mistake. The 59-year-old farmer was tending his field when a straw-chopping machine sparked the dried grasses. The perfect ingredients for a fire, the inferno quickly gathered power. Local authorities were quick to react, evacuating two residential complexes, an animal refuge, and several restaurants. In total, over 800 people were forced to relocate, and the fire continues to burn even now.
This area has suffered a series of wildfires as of late. Over 11 blazes this weekend had firefighters working through the night. Since early July, blazes have consumed over 39,000 hectares of land across Spain. The summer shows no sign of cooling off, but authorities are more than ready to meet the ever growing number of fires.