He Forest fire that since early afternoon is affecting the Municipality of Villanueva de Viver advance quickly. Firefighters from the Castellón Provincial Consortium and foresters from the Valencian generalitat They have been working from the outset to extinguish this fire, which has already forced the evacuation of several municipalities due to the proximity of the flames and the virulence of the fire. The latest data provided by the director of the Advanced Command Post, Manuel Villanueva, the flames have already burned more than 1,000 hectares since the fire broke out.
Late in the afternoon, the 15 aerial means that were working in the area were withdrawn. During the night, 10 units of the Generalitat’s forest firefighters, 11 fire engines, 10 crews from the Castellón Provincial Firefighters Consortium, a UME squad, two SAMU ambulances and one SVB, three environmental agents, and one fire prevention unit.
Those responsible for the firefighting work have already requested the evacuations of Fuente la Reina, Los Calpes, Los Cantos, La Monzona, Puebla de Arenoso and Montanejos. Around 7:00 p.m. the Advanced Command Post has also proceeded to evacuate The Farmhouse of Montanejos and La Artejuela. At the moment, the command post established by the Castellón Provincial Firefighters Consortium is in Barracas. From there, the entire device that has mobilized the means of extinction and eviction will be coordinated.
“The fire has had a very violent behavior”
The general director of Interior, Salvador Almenar, toHe had just appeared before the media to explain the evolution of the fire.
From the Generalitat they explain that the fire has had a “very violent and virulent” behavior From the first moment. Almenar has explained that the firefighters have detected that since its declaration the fire has shown to have a great capacity to spread aided by the weather conditions. Both the wind and the great availability of fuel (dry firewood and brush without any moisture) have fueled the flames to such an extent that in just a few hours the fire has forced the evacuation of up to 7 municipalities.
Regarding the possible causes of the fire, the Director General of the Interior assures that it is still early to know and that the Generalitat is focusing all its efforts on stopping the spread of the fire and guaranteeing the safety of the evacuated residents and the municipalities affected by the fire. fire. “The causes are being investigated. It is a very early stage of the investigation. The important thing is to appease the spread of the fire and stop its progress.”
Regarding the area affected by the fire, Almenar insists that the fire is not yet within the perimeter but that the initial estimate reaches 800 hectares of fire.
The head of the Interior has also explained how work is being done on the ground to try to stop the advance of the fire. “The evolution for the next few hours is difficult to predict. In the next few hours the wind will change and that can totally modify the evolution of the fire. Right now the wind is pushing the fire towards Montanejos but it will change and when the wind rolls it will that is now the head of the fire will be the tail and vice versa”. For this reason, the firefighters are working to prepare the area so that when the direction of the wind changes, the fire cannot advance and there is no fuel available.
As for the evacuees, the Generalitat has set up a shelter in Segorbe and it is ruled out that the evacuated residents can return to their homes tonight.
The evolution of the flames during the first hours of the fire has already forced the deployment of the Military Emergency Unit, as requested by the Valencian Community to intervene and help in the work of extinction and evacuation of the Viver forest fire. Specifically, and as confirmed by the Generalitat, troops from the BIEM III have just been mobilized. Up to the place of the fire, 74 soldiers and 19 vehicles have been deployed, means of fighting forest fires are participating: 12 fire trucks and 4 nurses, which join the existing device of GVA and the Castellón Fire Department.
The fire is still out of control and the column of smoke is already visible from the A-7. The advance of the flames has forced the closure of several roads to traffic both in the province of Castellón and in neighboring Teruel. Specifically, Traffic has closed to traffic the CV-20 highways in Montanejos and the CV-207 as it passes through Fuente de la Reina. In Teruel, and also due to the proximity of the front, the CV-207 has been cut in Mases and Tamboril.
?⚫️ Two secondary roads cut off by forest fire.
➡️On the CV-20 in Montanejos.
➡️On the CV-207 in Fuente de la Reina.
➡️On the CV-207 in Mases and Tamboril.
?For more information @InformationDGT pic.twitter.com/SNLmV95auH
— Dir. Gral. Tráfico (@DGTes) March 23, 2023
start of fire
At 3:00 p.m., it was reported from the Coordination Center for emergencies that Los Calpes, district of La Arenoso Townand The Queen Fountainthey are being evacuated to prevent personal injury from the serious fire. In addition, the Military Emergency Unit has been activated by the National Emergency Monitoring and Coordination Center to intervene in the #IFVillanuevaViver.
At the request of the Valencian Community, from the National Center for Monitoring and Coordination of Emergencies of @civil protection we have requested the deployment of @UMEgob to intervene in the #IFVillanuevaDeViver in #Castellon pic.twitter.com/2O6WIrl4Qx
— DG Civil Protection and Emergencies. Spain (@proteccioncivil) March 23, 2023
The troops work to attack the flames, whose evolution is violent at the moment. So much so, that the Emergency Coordination Center has established the Situation 2 of the Special Forest Fire Plan.