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Rías Baixas hit by wildfires

Published:  17 October, 2017

Galicia’s Rías Baixas wine board is assessing the extent of damage to vineyards caused by wildfires, which have raged in Portugal and Spain since the weekend, killing more than 30 people.

Hundreds of residents this week had to flee homes and villages as the fires swept across forests and even reached the town of Vigo.

Rainfall last night helped to put out some of the fires, but Agustin Lago, technical director of the Rías Baixas wine board, said forty fires were still raging in Galicia.

Authorities in Spain and Portugal believe arsonists started the fires.

The fires have seriously affected vineyards in As Neves and surrounding municipalities, in the south of Galicia, near Portugal and have destroyed vines of leading producers, including Grupo Vinicola Bodegas Marques de Vargas and Señorío de Rubiós.

“Vines have been affected but not the winery,” a spokesman at Señorío de Rubiós told Harpers.

“A wide area of vines has been impacted, but we do not know yet exactly the amount of damage. The fires hit As Neves and Salvaterra de Mino, where we have some of our vines. They have also affected vines of some of our growers,” he said.

Galicia’s Rías Baixas wine board told Harpers it was assessing the extent of the damage.

“We do not have all the information yet, but we know that fire seriously affected the municipality of As Neves, said Lago, adding Grupo Vinicola Bodegas Marques de Vargas had confirmed the fire had damaged its vines and machinery.

“The fires occurred after the end of the harvest, so at least they didn’t occur at what could have been the worst time of the year,” he said.

Galicia has been hit by drought this year, but rainfall has helped put out the fires.