Seven hundred Spanish firefighters are battling the season’s first major forest fire, which has spread out of control 48 hours after it broke out and has forced the evacuation of 1,500 people from a community north of Valencia in eastern Spain.

The fire is burning lands in the area of ​​Villanueva de Viver and, according to the local services, it is a fire of high degree of difficulty accompanied by adverse weather conditions similar to summer.

In 2022, a black year for forest fires in Europe, Spain was the most affected country on the continent, with 500 forest fires burning vast areas, according to the European Forest Fire Information System.