Four fire fighters killed by Cataluña forest fire near Tarragona

   Four fire fighters killed by Cataluña forest fire near Tarragona

22 July 2009

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Another two men were seriously burned and 2,000 people were forced from their homes by another blaze in Madrid

Another of Spain’s natural parks has been hit by forest fire, with the flames in the Parque Natural dels Ports, in Cataluña’s Tarragona province, destroying more than 50 hectares by Tuesday afternoon.

Four fire-fighters lost their lives as they were surrounded by the flames when surprised by a change in the wind direction. The fire remained out of control on Tuesday evening between the T-330 road which has been closed and the T-334. The closet buildings to the flames are five kilometres away.

Another two men have suffered serious burns and have been transferred to the specialist unit at the Vall d’Hebron hospital in Barcelona.

Country properties under threat from the blaze were evacuated at around 5pm, and there were concerns for homes in Horta de Sant Joan, as high winds fanned the flames and prevented some of the fire-fighting aircraft from taking to the air.

A Level 1 Alert was called shortly before 5pm and, and 20 minutos reports residents in the village were told to remain inside their homes as firemen worked on keeping the flames away from outlying areas.

A Level 2 Alert was called in the Madrid Region for a fire in Collado Mediano which forced 2,000 people from their homes on Tuesday. 200 people were working at the scene, with additional support from the air called in from the Interior Ministry. No homes were affected by the fire which was brought under control overnight.

A local man who owns land near where the blaze broke out told EFE the flames had so far been stopped from reaching the Serranía de la Paloma urbanisation by a firebreak built by the electricity company this past winter. The urbanisation was one of the two to be evacuated as a precaution.

There has also been a fire in Ciudad Real where several homes have had to be evacuated to the west of the city.

There has been no information as yet on the number of hectares destroyed by the flames in the latest blazes.

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