Spanish authorities have called for people to avoid forest fires in Castellón and Teruel, near Valencia. So-called “fire tourists” can put themselves at risk and disrupt efforts to control wildfires. “We ask again, especially tourists, not to approach the perimeter.”
In Castellón and Teruel, near Valencia, Spain, wildfires have burned large parts of the region to ashes. Since Saturday, 700 firefighters have been trying to contain the fire. In addition, firefighting planes and helicopters were deployed. It is the first major forest fire in Spain this year. The forest fire destroyed more than 4,000 hectares of forest. As a result, about 1,700 Spaniards had to leave their homes.
Since the wildfires started, several disaster tourists have explored the neighbourhood. The police have already seen 14 cyclists who wanted to take a closer look at the forest fires and the damage they caused. They are also called “fire tourists”.
The Spanish authorities ask to stay away from the forest fires. However, the “fire tourists” may endanger themselves and may interfere with efforts to control the wildfires.
“We ask again, especially tourists, not to approach the perimeter,” said Gabriela Bravo, regional counsellor for the Interior. The perimeter won’t change for now, but “it’s a hugely complex fire,” Bravo says on Twitter.
Residents of the area regret the forest fires and are concerned about nature and the local economy. However, the local economy mainly depends on walking and cycling tourism, which has reached a complete standstill. A record number of land has been destroyed in Spain in the past year. 493 fires destroyed 307,000 hectares of land and about 214,900 football fields.