News24

Fires damage Spanish oak forest park

2012-04-01 21:38

Madrid - Fire-fighters using water-dumping helicopters and planes are battling to extinguish a blaze that has destroyed more than 750ha of a protected forest park in northwestern Spain.

Local authorities said in a statement that 275 soldiers are fighting the fire in the Fragas do Eume forest.

The predominantly oak forest is considered one of the most beautiful in northern Spain. It stretches over 9 000ha.

Galicia regional President Alberto Nunez Feijoo said authorities believe the fire was started intentionally on Saturday.

Some 200 residents in the area were evacuated overnight but most returned home on Sunday.

High temperatures and a severe lack of rain have triggered dozens of forest fires in northern Spain in recent months.