A FIRE that burned 3,270 hectares of land, destroyed or damaged 40 homes and forced the evacuation of 2,620 people was finally put out a week after it started.
At its height the blaze that was started by lightning strike in the Llutxent area of Valencia threatened the seaside resort town of Gandia.
More than 700 ground based personnel and 31 helicopters and planes were drafted in from Valencia, Castellon and Alicante, as well as from the forestry service and military units to contain the fire which had been whipped up by strong gusts of winds.
By Friday the blaze, which had started in the early hours of Monday morning, was declared “stabilised” and it was finally extinguished by 8pm on Sunday.
The municipal districts of Gandia, Llutxent, Pinet, Ador, Barx and Quatretonda were affected, with 120 people from Pinet joining 2,500 evacuees from La Drova and the Montesol and Montepino urbanisations.
Those people evacuated have been allowed back to their homes to assess any damage, with the national government pledging to support those affected with grants to repair damage.
Local authorities may also be helped with cash to reforest affected areas. So far this summer, fire has destroyed a total of 11,722.90 hectares in Spain, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, but these figures do not include the latest blazes in Nerva, Moguer, Almonaster Huelva , or Llutxent.
It is still 84.63 per cent less than in the same period of the previous year (76,625 hectares).
EXTINGUISHED: Blaze put out before it reached Gandia Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentacion