MADRID, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The region of Asturias in the north of Spain has been hit by a series of wildfires, with emergency services reporting over 100 different focal points on Friday.
Unusually warm and dry weather, coupled with strong winds gusting at over 100 km an hour has helped the flames to spread quickly. At least 170 people have been evacuated from their homes, and several roads in the region have been cut as a precautionary measure.
Around 700 firemen, including members of the Spanish Military Emergency Response Unit, are currently fighting the flames.
The ravaging fires have now reached Monte Naranco, located on the outskirts of the city of Oviedo. The area is covered in eucalyptus trees and plantations for the paper industry, as well as chestnut and oak forests. The wildfires were clearly visible in Oviedo overnight, and residents were complaining about the strong smell of the smoke.
According to police information, the fires on the mountain began "simultaneously and at a dozen places between 1 and 2 am," which made the authorities suspect that some of them had been started on purpose by arsonists. Police are now following up on information about "some people who were up there."
"The flames are getting very close to two houses. The people who have provoked these fires are authentic terrorists," commented Adrian Baron Rodriguez, the region's president, to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
Meanwhile, firefighters are still struggling to extinguish a wildfire that began eight days ago near the municipality of Villanueva de Viver, in the province of Castellon in eastern Spain. This fire has burnt around 4,700 hectares of land and saw over 1,500 people evacuated from their homes.