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Spain forest fire leaves two dead

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Wildfire flames are seen near Altemporada on July 22, 2012. The wind-fueled wildfire raged out of control in northeastern Spain.

While raging wildfire in Spain’s Canary Islands of La Gomera has forced hundreds of residents to leave their homes, a separate forest fire leaves two people dead in the east of the country.

According to authorities, at least one firefighter and an environmental agent lost their lives from injuries sustained during attempts to fight the flames in Spain’s eastern province of Alicante on Monday.

Two other crew members are receiving treatment in the hospital.

The fire, which is one of the half a dozen blazes that have been raging in Spain for weeks, is said to have begun after a car went up in flames on Friday.

This comes while another wildfire near a natural reserve in Spain’s island of La Gomera has burned down trees and displaced residents and tourists.

The inferno, which started more than a week ago, has already ravaged over 4,000 hectares of land, including hundreds of hectares in the Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to rare subtropical plants.

Authorities say “the high temperatures, the wind, the low humidity, and the lack of aircraft” have made it difficult for the firefighters to contain the flames.

On Saturday, regional security minister Javier Gonzalez Ortiz said that more than 4,700 people had left their homes in the islands of La Gomera and Tenerife.

Gomera island’s environment officials say it will take 30 to 40 years for Garajonay’s burned areas to recover.

Between January 1 and July 29, wildfires destroyed 130,830 hectares of vegetation in Spain, which is experiencing a drought – unprecedented in seven decades – after getting almost no rainfall in the winter.


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One Response to " Spain forest fire leaves two dead "

  1. Jack Longchamp says:

    30-40 years for the woods to recover ? The area will long be urbanized by then, the fire was laid (three points of origin).
    Imagine, thousands of sweaty little Primates will be chattering,
    shitting and watching TV there, and how happy they will all be !

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