Dutch reforestation company takes responsibility for Spanish fire

Photo: Bertknot via Flickr
A file photo of a forest fire. Photo: Bertknot via Flickr

A Dutch reforestation company has taken responsibility for causing a major forest fire in Zaragoza in Spain which started on July 18 and has not yet been brought under control.

In a statement on the company’s Spanish web page, Land Life said a spark from a digger ignited the dry vegetation and took hold quickly.

Despite immediately alarming the fire service, the fire got out of control, head of Spanish operations Francisco Purroy said.

According to Land Life, which started its land restoration activities in 2013, ‘every precaution for working in the dry circumstances had been taken’.  The company said it was ‘profoundly sorry’ for what has happened. It is not clear if the company will face legal consequences for causing the fire.

Over 1,400 hectares of land have been burned so far and six villages in the area have been evacuated. The fire also cut off road and rail links between Madrid and Zaragoza.

The president of the Aragon region Javier Lambán told El País on Thursday that weather changes could ‘activate new outbreaks’

Large parts of Spain have been battling fires, some of which have started accidentally and some of which have been set deliberately.  At the moment there are 16 active fires, five of which are serious, including the fire in Zaragoza. Some 60,000 hectares of land have gone up in flames, with many people losing their homes and livelihoods.

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