Park ranger dies in Canaries blaze

2016-08-04 21:37
A plane fights a wildfire burning near Castellon in eastern Spain. (Jose Jordan, AFP)

A plane fights a wildfire burning near Castellon in eastern Spain. (Jose Jordan, AFP)

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Santa Cruz de la Palma - A park ranger died while fighting a blaze in the Canary Islands allegedly sparked by a German man who defecated in the woods and then set fire to the toilet paper, authorities said on Thursday.

About 700 people have been evacuated from areas near the blaze, sweeping through a wooded, mountainous area in La Palma, one of the lesser-known, unspoiled islands of the Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa.

The 54-year-old ranger died while working to put out the flames, said the Atbrif union for forest fire fighters.

A spokesperson for the police said the 27-year-old German was arrested on suspicion of having caused the fire.

He has been accused of causing a forest fire through negligence and is expected to be questioned by a judge.

Some 200 people are fighting the blaze as well as six helicopters and one plane, a spokesperson for the Canary Islands' emergency services said.

Weather conditions are not expected to make their task any easier, as high temperatures and strong winds fan the flames, she added.

The Spanish government has announced it will send more planes and helicopters to fight the blaze.

Read more on:    spain  |  fires

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