Spain wildfire forces evacuation of 1,400 people

7th August 2015, Comments 0 comments

A wildfire raging in western Spain on Friday forced the evacuation of 1,400 people from towns and campsites, officials said.

The blaze, which broke out on Thursday amid scorching temperatures, has burned over 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres) of land, the government of Extremadura region said in a statement.

Some 300 firefighters backed by water-bomber aircraft were battling the wildfire, which was fanned by strong winds.

"We hope that later in the day we may have better news than we have had throughout this difficult night," the head of the regional government said in a statement.

Some 1,400 residents of the towns of Acebo and Perales del Puerto, as well as holidaymakers from a number of mountain campsites, have been taken to the nearby towns of Caceres and Moraleja, the government added.

The cause of the fire was still undetermined.

Several other wildfires were burning in the southeastern region of Murcia. One blaze, which was caused by lightning, had already consumed 135 hectares of land, the regional government of Murcia said in a statement.

The risk of wildfires was high across most of Spain on Friday due to soaring temperatures, strong winds and parched vegetation, the agriculture ministry warned.

Wildfires have destroyed over 54,000 hectares of agricultural and forest land in Spain so far this year, exceeding amount burned during all of the last two years combined, according to the ministry.

© 2015 AFP

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