Spanish diocese provides shelter for those evacuated due to fire

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The Diocese of Avila is providing shelter at its retreat house and school for local residents evacuated due to a fire that started Saturday and so far has devastated more than 29,000 acres.

A fire broke out Aug. 14 between the villages of Navalcruz and Cepeda de la Mora in Spain’s Ávila province. The fire began when a vehicle caught on fire. Its progress has slowed, but it is not yet under control.

The Bishop José María Gil Tamayo of Avila offered the facilities to the local authorities and currently 80 people are housed in both buildings, including firefighters battling the blaze and area residents.

Bishop Gil asked for prayers for the prompt containment of the fire, "which is causing so much damage and suffering" and has necessitated the evacuation of more than 1,000 people.

The patroness of the Amblés Valley, an area where fire is concentrated, is Our Lady of Sonsoles, and given the seriousness of the situation there Bishop Gil asked that a statue of the Virgin be brought outdoors from her shrine to invoke her intercession “so that the fires that are devastating our province can be controlled and our neighbors protected.”

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