Wildfire near tourist hotspot in Costa Brava forces residents to evacuate

Castell d'Aro and Santa Cristina d'Aro activate emergency response as over 60 firefighter crews work on site

Image of the wildfire declared in Castell d'Aro, Costa Brava, on July 1, 2022 (by Catalan firefighters)
Image of the wildfire declared in Castell d'Aro, Costa Brava, on July 1, 2022 (by Catalan firefighters) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 1, 2022 05:47 PM

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Firefighters are working to put out a wildfire that broke out early Friday afternoon in Castell d'Aro, one of the Costa Brava's most famous tourist hotspots on the northern Catalan coast.

77 firefighter crews and 15 aerial units were working on the site at 5pm, while civil protection authorities have evacuated at least 15 residents in the nearby Les Teules area, as well as 350 guests at Resort Hapimag. Residential area of Can Manel, Hotel Mas Torrellas, Can Batet country house, Can Riera, Vallvanera area and Golf Masnou were also evacuated.

So far, there are no injuries, according to officials, and the evacuees have been moved to the municipal sports center facilities. 

50 hectares affected, hopes to stabilize blaze on Friday evening

At 5pm local time, the firefighters said that the blaze has affected between 50 and 55 hectares, and this could increase up to 100 in the best case scenario, and up to 250 if the flames go beyond their estimations. 

They also said that "if things go well," the wildfire may be already stabilized on Friday evening. 

According to the Catalan rural officers, forest cleanup works may have caused the incident.

The coastal resort towns of Platja d'Aro and S'Agaró - which make up the Castell d'Aro municipality - and Sant Feliu de Guíxols are some 10 kilometers south of Sant Antoni de Calonge and Palamós.

Both Castell d'Aro and the neighboring Santa Cristina d'Aro have activated their local emergency protocols for wildfires.

Weather conditions are favorable to put it out, as reported by the local radio broadcaster Ràdio Capital de l'Empordà. The media outlet also confirmed that humidity is at around 40% and 60% and wind from the sea helps keep the temperature low, although there are gusts of wind of up to 40 kilometers per hour.

Firefighters added that the area affected, in the Girona region, is in a "slightly" better situation regarding the ongoing drought in Catalonia. Yet, they called on the public to be cautious across the country since due to the lack of rain, "any wildfire rapidly expands soon after it has started."