“We are sad and anguished. We feel powerless,” Andreu explained this Monday, while Maria lamented: “Now it’s all gray instead of green.” Both represent the feelings of the residents of the towns and farmhouses in the area affected by the fire that started on Saturday in Santa Maria de Queralt (Tarragona), which has burned about 1,700 hectares. It is the most serious of the summer in Catalonia so far and around 8 p.m. the Bombers of the Generalitat have taken it for granted although they plan to take “days” to turn it off.
The stabilization of the fire this afternoon has allowed people who had been evicted from isolated farmhouses have been able to return to their homes, after 15 have slept in three centers that enabled the emergency teams.
Before, in the morning, it was possible to lift the confinement in three municipalities affected by the smoke –Sant Martí de Tous, Santa Maria de Miralles and Bellprat– and reopen the five local roads that had been cut.
“It has been a very long and sad night,” said Maria, a resident of Sant Martí, who said that “very emblematic corners in the town” have been burned, such as the one that houses the ancient Can Gol oak, which has been devastated by flames.
For its part, Josep Ramon Puig, who had to leave his farmhouse and leave his animals insideHe has celebrated going home, although he has affirmed that the “distressing” situation he experienced is not erased from his head.
Both the neighbors and the mayors of the affected towns have called for more investment in forest management and helps.
During this night, 25 ground crews with 125 firefighters will stay in the area to check fire perimeter and soak hot spots. This work will continue over the next few hours, since it is not ruled out that, with a new increase in temperature, fumaroles may reappear.
Good morning, with a little rain in the fire area!
🔴 UPDATE (26/07, 8.30am)#IFSantaColomaQueralt affects an approximate surface area of 1,657 hectares.
Forest: 1,272 ha
Agricultural: 380 ha
Urban: 5 ha
1,218 ha within the EIN of the Central Prelitoral System. pic.twitter.com/NOg17AuMnK
– Rural Agents (@agentsruralscat) July 26, 2021
Although the perimeter of the fire is not expected to grow, it is still to close in a small part of the left flank of his head. Borrell has warned that the fire may still cause smoke or burn in some strains. For this reason, he has asked citizens to exercise caution and not circulate on the reopened roads if it is not “exclusively necessary” and not to visit the affected area because there are still many troops working there.
Is ruled out that the fire originated from natural causes, but the Rural Agents are still investigating to determine if it was caused or not. The Catalan vice president, Jordi Puigneró, has considered it “unlikely” that it was intentional, but has pointed to a human cause, such as a spark from a truck or cigarette butt. “One butt of negligence means 50 years of reforestation. This country cannot allow fires of these characteristics,” he said. He has also requested that the tires of the controlled vehicles be checked to prevent them from causing sparks in contact with the asphalt.
Also this Monday, the Bombers They have considered controlled the fire that broke out on Saturday in Ventalló, Girona, which burned about 35 hectares, and they have continued to work in the area of Torroella de Montgrí, under control after calcining about 91 hectares.