Spain wildfire forces dozens to evacuate, cuts rail service

19th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Firefighters battled a wildfire in northeastern Spain Tuesday that prompted dozens of campers to evacuate and disrupted high-speed rail service between Madrid and Barcelona, officials said.

High winds were fuelling the blaze near the town of La Riba in the region of Catalonia. The fire broke out on Tuesday and had so far burned over 200 hectares (500 acres) of land, firefighters said.

Police evacuated 75 people from two separate campsites and closed several roads as a precaution.

State railway Renfe said 1,771 people were affected by the interruption of its high-speed rail service between Madrid and Barcelona, Spain's two largest cities, because of the blaze.

The company hired 40 buses to transport passengers for part of the trip, it said in a statement.

The interior ministry warned that several Spanish regions faced the risk of wildfires over the coming days, including Catalonia, Extremadura and Andalucia, because of scorching temperatures and low air humidity levels.

© 2011 AFP

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