The Military Emergency Unit has been activated by the National Emergency Monitoring and Coordination Center to intervene in the fire declared at noon this Thursday in the Castellón town of Villanueva de Viver.
The fire, classified as "highly dangerous", has forced the evacuation of the municipalities of Puebla de Arenoso and Fuente la Reina.
According to sources from the government delegation, the Army has deployed 74 soldiers and 19 vehicles.
The Emergency Coordination Center has elevated the fire to Situation 2 due to the risk of seriously affecting the population and non-forest assets.
Thus, it is contemplated that the UME joins the extinction work, in which six aerial means are already working, measures of "protection and relief", as well as "extraordinary means", according to reports from the Generalitat Emergencies, which details that already has evacuated the hamlet of Los Calpes, in Puebla de Arenoso.
After 4:30 p.m., the eviction of the municipality of Puebla de Arenoso has been requested, as well as two more districts of the same: Los Cantos and La Monzona.
The fire broke out in a ravine area with a large forest mass and had already forced, for the moment, to cut a road and evacuate a farmhouse in a preventive manner.
Eight people from the municipality of San Agustín, in the province of Teruel, have also been evicted.
Images from 3:00 p.m. from the Hermitage of S. Cristóbal in Puebla de Arenoso.
❗️Los Calpes and Fuente La Reina are evacuated.
— VOST Valencian Community (@VOSTcvalenciana) March 23, 2023
According to sources from the Castellón Provincial Fire Brigade Consortium, there is currently no strong wind blowing in the area, although the flames are advancing rapidly due to the amount of combustible mass, which is also dry due to the lack of rainfall in recent months in area.
10 aerial means are working on the fire -seven from the Generalitat, one from the Government of Aragon and two from the Ministry- eight units of Forest Firefighters from the Generalitat, a prevention unit, two environmental agents and six endowments from the Fire Consortium.
A large column of smoke can be seen from several kilometers around.
During the first moments of the fire, a farmhouse was evacuated, in a preventive manner, and one of the access roads to Villanueva de Viver, a town in the Alto Mijares region, was cut.