The following is information from Chuck Bushey, President of the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF). It is published here with his permission.
Marc Castellnou is one of the Incident Commanders involved in the Horta de Sant Joan Fire in Catalonia, Spain that experienced the burnover resulting in four fatalities and two severely injured firefighters. He is also a former member of the IAWF Board of Directors. Marc has assigned one of his firefighters, Daniel Krauss, to periodically update us on their most current fire situation and the status of the injured firefighters. Following are Daniel’s reports. This first report arrived 10:13 MDT, the other just this morning and I have just added it to this email. Daniel reports that one of their injured firefighters has died. The Team is understandably asking for some time before providing more information on the fire.
Reportedly there are about 25 fires burning in Spain with “hundreds” of firefighters involved and about 8,000 hectares burned (nearly 20,000 acres) involving numerous communities. Additional fires are burning in the Mediterranean areas of France where one firefighter has been injured, two civilians have reportedly been killed in a wildland fire on the island of Sardinia while authorities were implementing evacuations, fires in Corsica has caused the evacuation of two villages, and wildland fires are also burning in Greece in the southern Peloponnese and the island of Evia.
Chuck Bushey, IAWF President and FireNet Moderator
(Received 10:13 PM MDT)
The fire in Horta Sant Joan remains active but the fire crews reached to prevent it from further spreading and growing although the gusty winds and low humidity’s complicate suppression efforts. The fire is reported almost contained by control lines where the terrain allows access and the perimeter is stabilized by continuous drops from the aircraft involved. The fire has consumed 1.140 hectares so far.
The firefighter who suffered burns on 75% of his body remains unchanged in serious condition. The state of the second injured firefighter who suffered 50% burns has deteriorated during the last hours and is critical.
(Received 7:56 AM MDT)
Things have gone worse in Catalonia and one of the injured firefighters, Pau Costa, has died today in the hospital.
We will provide you more information on the firefighter fatalities later on.
The GRAF team now needs some time among themselves and they asked me to shield them from contact mails and visits from outside until Tuesday or Wednesday next week as far as I can. Certainly everybody will understand and respect that.