Forest fire leads to evacuation of 700 people

Forest fire leads to evacuation of 700 people

19 July 2009

published by www.thinkspain.com


Spain — A forest fire that has already wiped out 200 hectares and led to 700 people being evacuated continues to burn, emergency services report.

The blaze started in the El Estrecho nature reserve in the Sierra de la Plata mountain range in Tarifa (Cádiz) yesterday afternoon.

Given that it is dangerously close to the urbanisation Atlanterra, its residents were forced to flee their homes.

Guests from the nearby Meliá hotel were also evacuated.

Some were able to return to their houses last night.

Helicopters and hydroplanes – 19 in total – are involved in attempting to control the fire.

But winds predicted throughout the day of up to 45 kilometres per hour could hinder their efforts.

Meanwhile, an inferno that broke out on Friday lunchtime in the province of Lleida (Catalunya) has already wiped out over 5,000 hectares, mostly of farmland.

Said to be the most serious yet this summer in the region, it has mainly affected the villages of Oliola, Cabanabona and Florejacs, and to a lesser extent Agramunt, Artesa de Segre, Biosca, Sanaüka and L’Aguda.

Residents spent most of Friday night unable to sleep for fear that their houses, which were surrounded by thick columns of smoke, would also go up in flames.

Luckily, nobody has been evacuated from their homes and the fire was brought under control last night, even though it continues to burn.


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