Galicia, Spain — The regional government of Galicia has issued its first estimate of the land destroyed by the forest fires which have been raging in the region: some 77,000 hectares destroyed in the past eleven days, 38,000 of them in Pontevedra province alone. A Coruña was next with 28,000 hectares. More exact figures will be released once detailed measurements are taken.
The biggest fire, some 8,000 hectares, was in Cerdedo in Pontevedra province, where two women died after their car was trapped by the blaze. A man was also found burnt to death after that fire.
The European Union, however, says the total amount of land destroyed was higher. EFFIS, the European Forest Fire Information System, says fires larger than 50 hectares destroyed 86,232 hectares in Galicia between 31st July and 14th August, basing their figures on satellite images. Thats more than the total across the European Union from 1st January until 31st July, when some 64,500 hectares were destroyed by forest fire.
The Partido Popular continues to maintain that 175,000 hectares were destroyed in the region.
Almost 30 suspected arsonists have been arrested in connection with the forest fires in Spains most north westerly region: 12 of them remain in prison.