Monday, September 05, 2016

Spain forest fires force evacuation of at least 1,000 people

Spanish firefighters are battling a huge forest blaze near Valencia that has forced the evacuation of thousands of people including tourists.

More than 200 firefighters have been deployed to tackle the fire some 350km (220 miles) south-east of Madrid.

The fire was deliberately started on one of the hottest days of the year, emergency authorities have said.

The temperature in the area is forecast to reach 40C but officials hope winds that fanned the flames will decrease.

Officials evacuated over 1,000 people late on Sunday from Javea and the resort of Benitatxell, about 40km north of Benidorm, due to the threat from the flames.

Emergency services quoted by the Associated Press news agency said they had the fire nearly under control on Sunday but it rekindled when water-dumping aircraft stopped work after sunset - meaning the evacuation process had to begin immediately...

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