Spain gets control of blaze in military zone

23rd August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Firefighters mastered a wildfire that has raged for four days in a military zone in northeastern Spain and destroyed more than 6,000 hectares of land, officials said.

Madrid -- Firefighters mastered a wildfire that has raged for four days in a military zone in northeastern Spain and destroyed more than 6,000 hectares of land, officials said.

The fire, fueled by scorching temperatures of 40 C (104 F), erupted on Tuesday for unknown reasons inside the camp at San Gregorio near the city of Zaragoza.

The government in the region of Aragon declared the blaze under control on Friday, but said firefighters could be working for several days to extinguish it completely.

"The declaration of control doesn't mean we can end the whole operation, and ground crews will stay to put out any flareups," said the head of the Aragon forestry department, Alberto Contreras.

Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers backed by 18 water-dropping aircraft fought the blazes, which destroyed 6,250 hectares (15,400 acres) of woodland and scrubland, most of it within the military zone.

Authorities in the western province of Salamanca meanwhile said firefighters Friday extinguished another blaze which had spread across the border from Portugal and destroyed some 320 hectares of land.

Between 1 January and 9 August wildfires have ravaged 84,064 hectares of land in Spain, more than during all of last year and the highest amount in the past decade, figures released Wednesday by the environment ministry showed.

More than half of the fire damage this year was in northeastern Spain.

The blazes have claimed eight lives, including six firefighters, since last month.

AFP / Expatica

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