Crews fight Canary Islands forest fire threatening national park

Crewsfight Canary Islands forest fire threatening national park

28 July 2007

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Madrid, Spain — Crews in the Canary Islands battled twoforest fires Saturday, one of which is threatening to spread to a national parkclassified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The fire that broke out Friday on the island of La Gomera has charred about150 hectares (375 acres) of pine, beech and other trees and some vineyards. Itis less than a kilometer (half a mile) from Garajonay National Park, but so farit is not spreading, officials said. 

“It is more under control than it was yesterday,” said Jose RamonDarias, a spokesman for the island’s fire department. 

Around 60 people who were evacuated from their homes Friday night wereallowed to return later, and highways initially closed because of the fire havereopened, he said. 

On the island of Gran Canaria, 100 firefighters struggled to contain a blazethat has burned 500 hectares (1,250 acres) of land, mainly pine forest, in theInagua area. Temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), lowhumidity and strong winds are complicating the effort, officials said. 

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