“Run, run, run, run!” The cry echoed across the hill as a wall of flames, fueled by high winds, descended toward four Spanish firefighters.
Seconds after they fled for their lives, the fire engulfed the tinder-dry ferns.
The fire brigade was killed in the eastern region of Valencia on Wednesday afternoon. Three firefighters were injured by flames and several villages in the area were evacuated, local emergency services said on Twitter.
Emergency services had tried to prevent flames from reaching a village in the municipality of Bejís, north of the city of Valencia.
The Castellón province government tweeted a video early Wednesday of firefighters running for their lives as towering flames from the Bejís fire blazed behind them.
The same fire threatened to overwhelm a train Tuesday night, prompting the train driver to take evasive measures to dodge the flames. The Spanish state news agency Efe reported that ten passengers were injured.
Authorities said on Wednesday several passengers were injured when they panicked and got out rather than wait as flames approached the tracks.
The driver stopped and managed to reverse the train on its way to Zaragoza and return safely to the Valencia city station.
The forest fire is one of two that is still out of control in eastern Spain.
South of the city of Valencia, a fire around the Val d’Ebo area has burned 11,500 hectares and forced more than 1,500 people to evacuate towns and villages since the weekend.
The region’s emergency services tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that nearly 10,000 hectares have been burned in the Bejís fire and 1,500 people have left their homes.
The regional president of Valencia, Ximo Puig, said earlier that the fire in Bejís was about 50 kilometers in circumference and the fire in Val d’Ebo was 80 kilometers in circumference.
According to the European Forest Fire Information System, 275,000 hectares have been burned down by forest fires in Spain so far this year. That’s more than four times the annual average of 67,000 acres in the country since 2006, when measurements began.
In neighboring Portugal, authorities said they hoped to control a forest fire that has been burning for 12 days and has burned large areas of pine forest in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park.
However, officials warned that a new heat wave forecast for the area could complicate the task.
Smoke from the Portuguese fire reached the Spanish capital Madridseveral hundred miles to the east, on Tuesday.