A blaze started by sparks from a barbecue destroyed some 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of woodland and forced 400 people to be evacuated from their villages in one of three forest fires in Spain this weekend, a police spokesman said Sunday.
At least and 11 people died Sunday while trying to extinguish a day-old forest fire that destroyed some 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of woodland and forced hundreds of people to be evacuated from their villages in drought-stricken Spain, news reports said.
1 had gone out in two groups to try to bring the fire under control. The fire began Saturday afternoon in the Cueva de los Casares natural park in the central province of Guadalajara and was still raging out of control a day later, provincial police spokesman Maximilian Rodriguez said. He said sparks from a barbecue that had not been fully extinguished had caused the fire.
The fire was raging on two fronts, aided by blustery winds and summer temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some 400 residents from four villages were evacuated, although many returned to their homes Sunday, he added.
Fires in Zaragoza and Zamora
Elsewhere, six people suffered light burns and more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) hectares of woodland were destroyed in the northwestern province of Zamora on Saturday. The fire was still burning on Sunday.
In the northeastern province of Zaragoza, several hundred people were evacuated from a residential area and a camp site overnight after fire broke out in the Monasterio de Piedra parkland. The blaze was brought under control early Sunday.
Spain is suffering its worst drought since the 1940s, with some reservoirs in the south at less than 20 percent capacity. In Madrid, an annual water fight which traditionally takes place as part of a fiesta in the district of Vallecas will go ahead on Sunday, despite a recommendation from Madrid’s town hall it should not because of the drought. But organisers said the battle would last half as long as usual with water limited to 6 tankers holding 8,000 litreseach.