The blaze damaged 2,100 acres of forest and caused “blackouts” in several countries, according to information released on Sunday.
A cigarette butt thrown from a car is the likely cause of a fire in southwestern France that damaged thousands of hectares of forest and cut electricity to homes in Spain, Portugal and Morocco .
The fire broke out at lunchtime on Saturday in the central reservation of a major road axis between Carcassonne and Narbonne in France.
As of Sunday, eight hundred firefighters were still trying to put out the flames that devastated 2,100 acres of forest, according to a report by Time.
Firefighter Colonel Jean-Luc Baccari said that “everyone can guess quite easily what the probable origin was. Unfortunately, it was very likely that this was caused by a discarded cigarette butt. [from a car] ».
He added that the vegetation was dry so “just a cigarette butt … could create such a disaster.” It’s a safe bet that this type of recklessness is at the origin of these roadside fires ”.
The interconnected power grids between France and Spain were disconnected as a result of the incident, causing partial “blackouts” in several countries.
Spain temporarily lost the equivalent of two nuclear power plants with large areas, including Madrid, which suffered power cuts for around an hour, according to reports.
The country also had to cut its connection with Morocco.
In Portugal, there were power cuts of more than 30 minutes across the country. Most of them took place around 4 p.m. on July 24, reported News from Portugal.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Portuguese energy company Redes Energeticas Nacionais said that “the Iberian electricity system is already interconnected with the European system, and the situation is on the way to being completely normalized”.