Wildfire in Costa Brava stabilized after burning 415 hectares

Some people in residential areas are still evacuated or confined

Image of the aftermath of the wildfire in Costa Brava on July 17, 2021 (by Xavier Pi)
Image of the aftermath of the wildfire in Costa Brava on July 17, 2021 (by Xavier Pi) / ACN

ACN | Llançà

July 18, 2021 11:21 AM

The wildfire in the northernmost part of Costa Brava is now stabilized after burning for almost two days.

On Sunday morning, the firefighters confirmed the news after the flames burnt 415 hectares, mostly forests – 402 of them is inside the Cap de Creus iconic natural park. This entails popular sites such as Cadaqués, Portlligat and the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery – a UNESCO heritage site

Professionals warned that the fire could still reignite, but they are optimistic.

The fire engines working on the site have reduced from 90 to 55 – 155 firefighters –, and the aerial units are now two, 13 fewer than on Saturday.

Firefighter Santi Lleonart said to the press that they expect a "much more favorable" situation at the end of the day.

During the night, the northern winds had diminished, which has helped professionals to make progress.

Over the past two days, water over a line of 12 kilometers was dropped, and the technique of firebreak was used along two kilometers.

Hundreds evacuated or confined

Those evacuated in several residential areas have been allowed to return home, except for those in Masferrer and Sant Pere de Rodes monastery.

People living in La Selva de Mar have to remain confined home.

Authorities asked those affected for patients, and said they would reevaluate the situation in the afternoon.

"We prioritize security to recklessness," said Lleonart. "The wind is still blowing and the perimeter is so unstable that the flames could reignite."

Some roads have already reopened, while GI-6041 and GI-6821 continued closed as of Sunday morning.

Trying to find out author of 'negligence'

The natural disaster declared in the town of Llançà is thought to be caused by a cigarette butt that was found in the site where the fire began.

Rural officers head Josep Antoni Mur said it will be difficult to find DNA in the butt in order to know dropped it, but added that authorities will do their best to find it out.

For him, it is "very likely" that the cigarette was thrown from a car, since the butt was found just outside the tarmac.

For the Catalan interior minister, Joan Ignasi Elena, having to fight a wildfire "due to a possible negligence is outrageous."

Professionals injured

Four firefighters and a member of a Forest Defense Group ADF were injured while attempting to put out the flames.