A wildfire that broke out on Friday afternoon in Almorox, in the Spanish province of Toledo, had razed 3,300 hectares of land by 8pm on Sunday. The flames spread to the Madrid locations of Cenicientos and Cadalso de los Vidrios, aided by high temperatures and strong winds.
A team of 450 firefighters and military emergency personnel was working to contain the fast-moving fire, which covered 15 kilometers in under two hours as it burned its way through tinder-dry vegetation that included forests of pine, holm oak and cork oak.
A perimeter was established on the east front, near Cadalso de los Vidrios, while two airtankers and nine helicopters were sent out to the west front, in Cenicientos. Homes in the residential area of Encinar del Alberche were evacuated and some residents spent the night at the sports facility in Villa del Prado.
One of the main problems for firefighters was the wind, which reached speeds of over 40km/h this weekend, said Carlos Novillo, director of the Madrid Emergency and Security Agency.
Of the 3,300 affected hectares, 2,500 were located within the boundaries of the Madrid region, and the rest were in Toledo province. Temperatures were expected to remain high on Monday, but wind speeds could drop by around 10%, facilitating the effort to put out the flames.
Meanwhile, Catalan firefighters on Saturday managed to stabilize a wildfire that had erupted on Wednesday in Torre de l’Espanyol, in Tarragona province, where it burned more than 6,000 hectares of land.
But officials said that they will remain vigilant due to the risk of a new outbreak. Up to 21 people required medical assistance in connection with the fire in the early hours of Saturday, and 50 more have been evacuated from their homes.
English version by Susana Urra.