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‘What is left to burn?’: Spanish villagers return to smouldering homes

Today’s temperatures reached 40C in northwestern Spain, making it even more difficult to fight the wildfires that are ravaging the region.

Across the country, thirty fires still blaze.

Tens of thousands acres of land have been destroyed and thousands of people have been evacuated from small towns and villages scattered across the mountainous Galicia region.

Sky News has been told by firefighters that climate change is making it worse for firefighters, with prolonged heat and drought fueling flames of extreme intensity.

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Jose Gutierrez, Castilla Y Leon fire chief, stated: “Ofcourse there is no question about that.

“I’ve been working for 22+ years, and I have never seen such fire conditions.” This is a completely new experience for us.”

One of the deaths from the fires was that of a firefighter trapped while trying to control a flame.

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People are being allowed to return home in some parts of Galicia.

We visited O Barrio, a tiny village where even the stone church was destroyed.

Image: Castilla Y Leon fire chief Jose Gutierrez.

Amparo Corcoba, Resident, has returned to her past to find what remains of her life.

Her home is still smouldering, and it’s unsafe to enter.

She said, “It’s very tragic, very sad.”

“My husband was given this house by his parents. He built the rest of it with his own hands as a child to make it larger.

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“So for my spouse, this really hurts and it hurts us both.”

Just minutes after we have finished filming, the creaking ceiling that divides her ground and second floors collapses violently.

This region of Spain is facing a crisis. But there is also a larger problem: Is it safe to stay in these vulnerable communities, as the climate changes worsen?

Image Lila Rodriguez resides in A Veiga de Cascalla.

Lila Rodriguez, a neighboring village in A Veiga de Cascalla, told me that she is fed up.

She said, “It’s my father-in law’s house and it’s our family’s home. But we intend to sell it.”

“It’s a shame, it’s unfortunate.”

Others, like Roberto Rodriquez, are more philosophical.

He was evacuated from his home by the flames, but he said to Sky News that he still had some questions.

Image Roberto Rodriguez also comes from A Vieja de Cascalla

“I’m old and retired. Where should I go?”

“I still have a beautiful home.”

That is the truth at this moment.

Others were not so fortunate and now must pick up the pieces as the climate change threat grows.

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