The Catalan Fire Brigade has been working on a new wildfire right next to Pont de Vilomara, Bages (Barcelona). As reported by the brigade on its Twitter account, at least four ground crews and seven aerial crews are fighting these new flames, which affect around six hectares and are located next to the old landfill, halfway along a track that leaves the BV-1225 road. The fire, however, is now stabilized. "The priority of the troops is the top right flank of the fire; the old landfill is located towards the left flank", said the firefighters, who also pointed out on social media that they are acting "fiercely to try to avoid a new forest fire".
Catalan Civil Protection has asked the public not to approach the area because of the danger. The Catalan Transit Service has also decided to close the C-16 road between Castellbell i el Vilar and Sant Fruitós de Bages. The northbound diversion is via the C-55, while the southbound diversion is via the C-16c and C-25. This is one of the most dangerous scenarios, which the Fire Brigade already warned should be avoided at all costs: the simultaneous occurrence of two wildfires in the same area.
The Fire Brigade reported this Monday that they were facing "a very critical afternoon" regarding the Pont de Vilomara wildfire, due to the usual temperature increase at this time of day, in addition to the wind, the effect of which on the flames could not be foreseen. At this moment, 117 crews are working on the largest active wildfire in the country, with 10 aerial crews. At around two o'clock midday on Monday, the Emergency 2 plan was downgraded to Emergency 1, because the danger seemed to be reduced. However, the Catalan government urged the population to stay indoors for two reasons: people's safety, and to try to prevent new flames from appearing, as has ended up happening.
At midday today, Catalan minister of the Interior, Joan Ignasi Elena, gave information about the fire on the Vilomarà Bridge together with Francesc Boya, Fire Brigade inspector. Both reported that at the time the crews were working on the right side of the fire. "The front and back of the left flank are still contained" said the head of the ministry. Both made it very clear that the flames were "contained", but in no way controlled. They insisted that this afternoon was the most dangerous moment of the fire.
The Mossos d'Esquadra Catalan police are investigating whether an arsonist was responsible for the fire. Sources of the Catalan police admit to ElNacional.cat that suspicions have increased after this Monday afternoon, a new focus appeared very close to the flames that have kept Catalonia in a state of alert ever since this weekend. It is not the only one in the last few minutes: there is a new wildfire in the town of Navarcles. In addition, five days ago there was also a fire in the Sant Vicenç antennas area, very close to Pont de Vilomara wildfires.
Moreover, the flames that broke out a few minutes ago in the Bufalvent industrial estate in Manresa cannot be the result of the Pont de Vilomara wildfire. They are too far away, and there is a road in the way. As of now there are only suspicions, but they are gaining more and more weight because there is another element that puts the Police and Fire Brigade on alert: the area of the country in which these flames have arisen is not in a very high state of alert. The Rural Agents, moreover, already said that the Pont de Vilomara fire causes could not be natural, and that it had been the result of the human factor, although they did not assess whether it had been provoked or not.