Spanish bushfires claim life

Spanish bushfires claim life

13 August 2012

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Spain– A firefighter has died in bushfires that are ravaging southern Spain and the Canary Islands.

The victim died fighting a blaze in woods near the southeastern city of Alicante on Sunday, while there and on the Canary Islands aircraft dumped water on the hillsides to douse flames that have driven thousands from their homes.

As the fires on the Canaries raged along with smaller blazes around the country, the latest major blaze broke out north of Alicante in the Torre de les Macanes pine woods where the firefighter died, the regional government said.

The fire ‘is still active in an area of adult pines,’ a spokeswoman for the emergency services told AFP on Sunday evening.

Regional government official Serafin Castellano said authorities evacuated 130 children from a camp in the area as a precaution.

On the Atlantic islands of La Gomera and Tenerife, part of the Canaries archipelago, fires that have ravaged thousands of hectares of land burned on out of control Sunday, authorities said.

Elderly villagers on La Gomera had spent the night in hotels and student halls after more than 4,700 people were evacuated since Friday.

The head of the Canary Islands emergency services Juan Manuel Santana told a news conference that high temperatures and low humidity on Sunday made it harder to control the blaze.

Spain is at particular risk of fires this summer after suffering its driest winter in 70 years.



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