MADRID: Multiple wildfires that have ravaged northern Spain in recent days have subsided, largely thanks to improved weather conditions, authorities said on Saturday.

In the Asturias region, where the blaze has ravaged 11,000 hectares (27,181 acres), 71 fires were still underway on Saturday, compared to over 90 the previous day.

But almost all of them are “under control and stabilised”, Oscar Rodriguez, head of the region’s emergency services, told journalists.

Firefighters have been helped by light rain and favourable winds.

Adrian Barbon, the regional president of Asturias, blamed arson for “clearly a coordinated action by environmental terrorists”, which could have caused “hundreds of deaths”.

In neighbouring Cantabria, two out of 35 fires recorded on Friday are still burning, but both are “under control”, the regional government said on Twitter.

In the eastern region of Valencia, nearly 4,700 hectares (11,614 acres) have been consumed by the flames.

Spain is experiencing long-term drought after three years of below-average rainfall.

In 2022, a particularly bad year for wildfires in Europe, Spain was the continent’s worst-hit country. Nearly 500 blazes destroyed more than 300,000 hectares, according to the European Forest Fire Information System.

Climate change amplifies droughts that create ideal conditions for wildfires to spread out of control and inflict unprecedented material and environmental damage. - AFP

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