Spanish wildfire forces evacuation of 800

2015-07-27 18:32
(Photo:  AP)

(Photo: AP)

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Barcelona - A wildfire raging in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia on Monday has destroyed over 1 200ha of land and forced the evacuation of around 800 people, local officials said.

The fire, which broke out on Sunday near the town of Odena around 70km west of Barcelona, was still out of control but authorities said weaker winds and rising humidity were helping slow its advance.

The blaze was started accidentally by a 59-year-old farmer when he was using a straw-chopping machine, the regional government of Catalonia said in a statement.

The man voluntarily turned himself to police station on Monday and was charged.

The wildfire has burned a total of 1 235ha of land as of 13:30  (11:30 GMT), the statement said.

Local officials on Sunday evacuated two residential complexes, several restaurants and an animal refuge.

Around 800 people were evacuated and 124 spent the night in sports complexes, local firefighters said.

In the northwestern region of Galicia another wildfire near the town of Navia de Suarna was stabilised late on Sunday after ravaging 431ha of a nature reserve.

Firefighters battled a total of 11 blazes on Sunday in five regions - Andalusia in the southwest; Asturias, Galicia and Castile and Leon in the north, and Catalonia in the northeast.

Since July 19 wildfires have ravaged nearly 39 000ha of land in Spain, according to the provisional figures from the agriculture ministry.

Read more on:    spain  |  fires

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