75,000 hectares of forests destroyed in fires in Spain

75,000 hectares of forests destroyed in fires in Spain

1 August 2009

published by news.xinhuanet.com


Spain — A total of 75,000 hectares of forests were destroyed and 11 people, mostly fire fighters, were killed in forest fires in Spain in the first seven months of this year.

Since the start of July, forest fires have frequently occurred in Spain. During the recent two weeks, 45,000 hectares of land have been burned out.

There are no statistics of the losses caused by the forest fires so far, but the Spanish government is collecting the loss reports from all departments and expected to issue a decree of disaster relief on Aug. 13.

In order to put out forest fires in various regions, the Spanish Army Emergency Unit has already mobilized 3,400 fire fighters, 12 planes and 950 vehicles.

The environment department of Spain also provided 20 planes for assistance.

According to weather forecast, forest fires are likely to occur in various regions in Spain, with the capital city of Madrid being in the dangerous region.

The Spanish government has confirmed that most of the fires that have occurred were caused by human factors. In June and July, 51 arsonists were arrested.

In order to prevent forest fires, the Spanish government has warned against fuelling campfire near mountainous areas, throwing cigarette butts and garbage in fields, especially leaving around glass bottles. Under scorching sunlight, glass bottles can play the role as optical collectors and cause fire.

Fire fighters and local people fight against a forest fire in Avila,  Spain on July 30. A total of 75,000 hectares of forests were destroyed and 11 people, mostly fire fighters,
were killed in forest fires in Spain in the first seven months of this year. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)


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