MORE than 400 people have been evacuated after a wild fire broke out in Moguer, Huelva, with Spain’s environment minister, Jose Fiscal, confirming that flames have entered Doñana National Park.
The blaze erupted yesterday (Saturday) evening in an area of pine forest known as La Peñuela de Moguer and quickly spread due to the torrid conditions brought about by the recent heatwave plus 60 km/h winds.
Emergency services battled through the night as the flames ripped through trees and crops, with aeroplanes taking to the skies from 8am this morning and 57 troops from the Military Emergency Unit drafted in by the Junta de Andalucia.
Tourists staying at the Parador de Mazagon and Solvasa hotels and Doñana and Cuesta de la Barca campsites were among those forced to flee early this morning, as were staff at the National Institute of Aerospace technology.
Hundreds of residents have also been affected, with the town of Mazagon “practically empty of people” according to the fire brigade, who have received more than 740 calls.
Many have been transferred to leisure centres in Mazagon and Moguer, while others have been taken in by hotels in the Matalscañas area.
The A-494 road between Mazagon and Matalscañas, the HU-3110 and the Las Peñuelas Trail are all closed to traffic, as Junta President Susana Diaz announced that she is making her way to the scene.
Fiscal added that “everything indicates that the fire was started by the hand of man,” with the most intense efforts currently concentrated on preventing the blaze from spreading further into the National Park.
More to follow.