Spain: Wildfire forces evacuation of residents from 2 towns

AP News
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Posted: Aug 07, 2015 7:50 AM

MADRID (AP) — A wildfire that officials suspect was started deliberately forced the evacuation of more than 1,400 people from two towns and two campsites in southwestern Spain on Friday.

Extremadura regional government President Guillermo Fernandez Vara told reporters the blaze in the Sierra de Gata mountain area had destroyed some 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) since Thursday.

People were evacuated from the towns of Acebo and Perales del Puerto and given lodging in the nearby city of Caceres and the town of Moraleja.

Fernandez Vara said it was the fifth fire in the area in recent months and everything indicates they have been started intentionally.

The Agricultural Ministry said it has sent four water-carrying planes and a helicopter to help extinguish the fire. There were no reports of injuries.

The ministry says forest fires in Spain have destroyed some 52,000 hectares (128,000 acres) through July his year, compared with some 46,000 hectares (114,000 acres) burned in all of 2014.