Three die as more than 80 forest fires rage in Galicia

7th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 August 2006, GALICIA – Three people have died in forest fires in the north-western region Galicia.

7 August 2006

GALICIA – Three people have died in forest fires in the north-western region Galicia.

On Monday afternoon, authorities in the region said a total of 87 fires were still blazing, with 36 described as under control and 51 described as active. Three have been classified as level one in terms of danger.

Galicia’s rural environment councillor Alfredo Suarez Canal said the authorities were dealing with a new type of arsonist. With such a large number of fires being started in woods near residential areas, the intention was to harm, he said.

On Monday, the latest victim of the fires was believed to be a 74-year-old man who died while trying to put out a fire in Pontevedra.

The department for the rural environment in the region ordered the mobilisation of all workers in the forest fire service, including those on days off.

Forty planes and helicopters were on Monday involved in tackling the flames. it was difficult to create fire blocks around the blazes which often spread across areas of up to 4,000 metres.

On Sunday, the army was called in to put out at least three fires in Pontevedra as flames threatened populated areas.

The president of Galicia’s regional government, Emilio Perez Tourino, said the Galician authorities and the Galicians would not surrender to people who started fires and would "win this battle".

Catalonia has also seen almost 2,000 hectares destroyed recently in forest fires. Environment councillor Francesc Baltasar said a fire which burnt 1,000 hectares in Ventallo was deliberately started and fires in Capmahy and Cistella, which destroyed 700 hectares, were set off by cigarette ends which were not properly extinguished.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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