Hundreds flee wildfire in southern Spain

15th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

A wildfire sweeping across southern Spain has forced authorities to evacuate around 500 people.

Madrid – A wildfire sweeping across southern Spain has forced authorities to evacuate around 500 people in the country's first big blaze of the year, firefighters said Wednesday.

Dozens of firefighters backed by water-dropping aircraft were battling the blaze in the Sierra Cabrera between Turre and Mojacar in the province of Almeria which broke out on Tuesday.

The fire, which is being fueled by winds of 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) per hour and temperatures of nearly 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), has so far destroyed 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of forest and bush.

Officials evacuated local residents and holiday makers from Turre and Mojacar overnight because of the risk that the fast-moving flames could reach built-up areas.

A study released Tuesday by environmental group World Wildlife Fund said four Spanish regions were especially vulnerable to wildfires: Castile-La Mancha and Castile and Leon in the center; Galicia in the northwest and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.

These regions together account for 40 percent of the forest that burns each year in the country.

AFP / Expatica

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