MADRID (AP) — Spanish authorities say that a forest fire started by a German man burning his soiled toilet paper continues to spread on La Palma in the Canary Islands.
Spain's acting minister of agriculture and the environment, Isabel Garcia Tejerina, told COPE radio that the four-day-old blaze has consumed between 3,500-4,000 hectares of forest, up from the 2,000 hectares terrain destroyed through Friday.
The fire claimed the life of one forest worker on Thursday and has caused the evacuation of 2,500 people from three towns on the volcanic island located off the northwest coast of Africa.
A 27-year-old German man admitted to police on Friday that he had started the fire accidentally by burning some soiled toilet paper.
Four planes and eight helicopters equipped to dump water are assisting over 350 firefighters on the ground to control the fire.
Spain's ministry of agriculture and the environment said that high temperatures, dense vegetation, and rocky terrain were "complicating the efforts to extinguish" the flames.