Firefighters 'very likely' to bring Baix Llobregat fire under control by end of day

Investigation suggests blaze was caused by "serious negligence" during farm maintenance work 

A helicopter drops water near Martorell, July 14, 2021 (Àlex Recolons)
A helicopter drops water near Martorell, July 14, 2021 (Àlex Recolons) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 14, 2021 06:00 PM

Firefighters have managed to bring 90% of the perimeter of a wildfire in Baix Llobregat county under control, according to the latest verdict from fire chief, Ricard Exposito, as evidence suggests that it was caused by "serious negligence."

The fire, in Castellví de Rosanes and Martorell, to the northwest of Barcelona not far from the capital, saw around 100 people, including some 20 elderly nursing home residents, evacuated from their homes on Tuesday evening as firefighters attempted to control the blaze.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, Exposito explained that firefighters are "very likely" to bring the fire under control by the end of the day. If conditions prove more difficult, it may take until Thursday, he said, with the teams fighting to keep the flames away from an area of ravines that would complicate the operation.

The fire chief stressed that there have been no injuries reported, nor any damage to buildings. A total of 76 ground and 9 aerial units are battling the fire, which covers an area of 195.7 hectares, the majority of which is woodland.

"Serious negligence"

Jaume Bosch, head of the Barcelona regional area of Rural Agents, said that they have found indications that the fire was caused by "serious negligence."

Evidence suggests the fire was started by an individual causing sparks while doing maintenance work with an angle grinder and welding machine on a farm. One person has been identified by the police as part of their ongoing investigation.