/ Mountain fire threatens Finestrat, Costa Blanca

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M. Edwards on 24 Jan 2009
At this moment, people are being evacuated from Ramel de Loix, an urbanisation on the mountain above the village of Finestrat. Roads are closed between Finestrat and La Nucia. A mountain fire started by an electricity pylon being blown over by high winds is now engulfing the whole eastern side of the Puig Campana. From my house here in Finestrat I can clearly see the flames in the night sky shooting high and travelling with the ferocity of the gale force winds. The full extent of the fire is still unknown but I'm sure this devastation will clearly be seen at daybreak.
Photos:
http://www.geocities.com/andrea_clannad/finestratfire.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/andrea_clannad/bosbrand3.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/andrea_clannad/bosbrand4.jpg
M. Edwards on 24 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards: Not looking good mark, are you also getting the winds that were scouring the south of france now? Wouldn't help with things.
Louise1 on 24 Jan 2009 - 5ac80de9.bb.sky.com
In reply to M. Edwards:

My mother lives in finestrat to. I have spoken to her and she has described the scene as like something from a movie. She is very scared as i am sure you are.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Take care and be safe
M. Edwards on 24 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards:

Looking out of my window it looks thankfully that the fire is possibly out, at least at this side of the mountain. The wind seems to have slackened and this may be contributing to the fire abating. Let's hope this is the end of it and it is now under control.

Sadly, I have just read a local website and it seems that there have been houses burnt in the La Nucía area and also I read that Alfaz de Pi is now under threat once again as the fire has returned to that direction. This is not official, it is just what I read on another forum.
JamieGib on 24 Jan 2009 - 62.32.165.191 whois?
We live in La Nucia and our entire area has been evacuated. Left home this afternoon with our baby because of no electric and smoke, thinking fire was distant. As smoke built up in the area, went back just in time to see the trees go on fire in garden 2 doors away. Just threw the dogs into the car and the laptop. At friends in Altea now, hoping we still have a house in the morning. The problem is that hot ashes have been flying in the wind and catching dry trees and pine needles.
M. Edwards on 24 Jan 2009
In reply to JamieGib:
So sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you and I hope the damage to your home is minimal. All the best, Mark.
M. Edwards on 24 Jan 2009
M. Edwards on 24 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards:

Found this, it's the local Valencian news channel. http://www.rtvv.es/video/video_informa.asp?id=24012009_incendinucia.flv
M. Edwards on 24 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards:

I have just been onto a local forum and someone who has a good view of the mountain and La Nucia and Alfaz informs us that the fires are now receding. This was at 00.15 local time.
M. Edwards on 25 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards:

News item I found on the Internet:

About 14.000 inhabitants of La Nucía, in the Spanish province of Alicante, were evacuated on Saturday after a large forest fire started, says a spokesman of the government of the region Valencia, Serafin Castellano.
The fire was probably caused by an electricity pylon, which was blown over by the gale-force winds. The fire started around 9.30 a.m. It also reached the communities of Benidorm, Finestrat and Polop de la Marina. Nearly 500 firemen tried to control the flames Saturday night, says a spokesman of the emergency services. They were hindered by the very strong winds.

At the time of writing I can see water aeroplanes, from the window of my house, extinguishing the remains of the fire. The slackening of the gale-force winds has made it possible for the planes to fly. Full details of the damage at the time of writing is still unknown to me.
M. Edwards on 25 Jan 2009
Dani on 25 Jan 2009 - d54C0E879.access.telenet.be
In reply to M. Edwards:
A friend of mine and his wife, living in La Tapiada Marraix, were evacuated yesterday night. He tells me they will propably be able to there home this afternoon...
Martin.Cat on 25 Jan 2009 - 77-96-129-73.cable.ubr12.pres.blueyonder.co.uk
In reply to Dani: My parents live at Tapiada Marraix and returned home late this afternoon. They have no electricty and said the area resembled a war zone. They haven't any fire damage just wind. Which has taken half the tiles off the roof and felled most of the trees. They have no electricty so were unsure wether to return to the hotel in La Cala which they were evacuated to last night
M. Edwards on 25 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards: Today the fire brigade here gave the highest category fire risk for the area, due to the continuing smouldering fires.
A brief shower was welcomed late this afternoon, but now we have clear skies and a return of strong winds, this can only be a worry to locals and emergency services.

There is a great deal of damage to property and to trees around the area, and with strong winds now returning, increases the danger of wind blown debris.

Those wishing to climb, should be aware that strong winds are often the most dangerous conditions to climb in the mountains, as the wind shakes the bushes and trees where stones or rocks have come to rest. I have seen this happen personally many times.
M. Edwards on 26 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards: All quiet on the Costa... the clean-up begins...
Tom Phillips - on 26 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards:

Hope to visit your new crag this week - have you done the topo yet? Also I have a route or two for you to try in Abdet! (too hard for me)
M. Edwards on 26 Jan 2009
In reply to Tom Phillips:Hi Tom, yes,yes I know... everyone is on my back for this topo ;-) I have a written "CC style" guide, and the photo-topos are in hand. Be pleased to show you around again, few new ones there you'll enjoy.

How was it up in Abdet during the gales?

M. Edwards on 26 Jan 2009
In reply to Tom Phillips: BTW Tom, this is my rest day, hence on here a lot today, before you ask ;-). Have been shooting video of my long boulder problems down in my cave yesterday, repeating problems for the various camera angles... Great work-out. Have you got that great wide angle photo of the cave you took with your crazy wide angle camera? Would be good for a topo as planned...
Tom Phillips - on 26 Jan 2009
In reply to M. Edwards:

I'll see if I can find that photo

I'm still in the UK - I think Abdet has survived!

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