British tourists forced to flee as forest fires ravage northern Ibiza

British tourists forced to flee as forest fires ravage northern Ibiza

29 May 2011

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Spain — Hundreds of British tourists were forced to be evacuated from homes and hotels as forest fires ravaged Ibiza.

The fire, which started on Wednesday, has burned more than 5,000 acres of pine forest in the north of the Mediterranean resort island.

Officials say it is the worst forest fire ever seen on Ibiza, but miraculously no one has so far been hurt.

A group of locals watch a wildfire at Serra de la Morna in the north of Ibiza. Hundreds of homes have had to be evacuated

Around 300 locals were evacuated from their homes, and tour operators moved about 500 tourists including many many Brits and Germans, from their hotels to other lodgings, although Saiz insisted that at no time were they were in danger from the fire.

Regional government emergency situations spokeswoman Asuncion Saiz that 500 firefighters and 15 water-dumping planes are battling the blaze, which was located in the north of the island near the town of Sant Joan de Labritja.

It has also effected the towns of Portinatx and Cala de Sant Vicent.

She said the evacuations had been carried out preventively and that neither lives nor houses were in danger for now.

Volunteers supervise the evacuation of tourists from Portinax

A firefighting helicopter drops water on a forest fire near Sant Joan de Labritja yesterday

Defence Minister Carme Chacon was to fly to the island to oversee the operation.

By Saturday evening the tourists forced to evacuate their hotels had returned to their holiday accommodation, the Foreign Office said.

A spokesman said: ‘We are aware that a number of British tourists have been moved from hotels, to which they have now returned.

‘There are no reports of any British casualties or Britons being directly affected.’

Scorched earth: More than 5,000 acres of pine forest have been destoyed

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