Firefighters battle forest blaze on Spanish island

2nd August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of firefighters on Sunday battled a huge forest fire on one of the Canary Islands, which has forced around 4,000 people to flee their homes.

Las Palmas - Hundreds of firefighters on Sunday battled a huge forest fire on one of the Canary Islands, which has forced around 4,000 people to flee their homes.

Around 500 firefighters, forest rangers and soldiers fought the flames on the popular holiday island of La Palma, as planes dumped water in a bid to bring the blaze under control.

Fanned by a strong wind, the fire has now devastated between 1,500 and 2,000 hectares (3,700 to 4,940 acres) of pine forest, local authority president Guadalupe Gonzalez Tano told reporters.

Local authorities said they hoped to bring the blaze under control on Sunday.

The fire was now spreading on two fronts, down from three fronts on Saturday, when the rapidly spreading inferno forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

The wind direction had also changed, local authorities pointed out, and was now blowing against the progress of the fire.

In addition, one of the two fronts was heading towards a sparsely forested area of volcanic rock, which would act as a natural firewall, they said.

AFP / Expatica

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