400 evacuated due to wildfire in SW Spain

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-04 20:28:50|Editor: Yurou Liang
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MADRID, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Around 400 people were evacuated on Monday night due to a wildfire that was still burning out of control on Tuesday morning in the province of Huelva in southwest Spain, the local Andalusian government said.

Causes of the fire remain unknown. The fire broke out close to the town of Minas de Riotinto, forcing 250 residents of the nearby town of El Campillo and 140 residents of a center for people with mental disabilities to be evacuated to a sports hall in Riotinto.

Although most of the evacuees were allowed to return to their homes, the Andalucian government has activated measures of its Emergency Plan to protect people and property.

Strong winds throughout Monday afternoon and during the night complicated the task of extinguishing the flames. On Tuesday morning, around 150 firefighters, including members of the Spanish Military Emergency Response Unit, fought the flames with the aid of 10 fire engines and four bulldozers.

19 aircraft and helicopters also joined the fight. The authorities said that the job of the firefighters has been complicated by temperatures of over 30 degrees centigrade and winds that are gusting at over 20 kilometers an hour.

A drier-than-average start to the year coupled with a hot and dry June spurred the spread of wildfire in many regions of Spain.

Monday's blaze is the second wildfire that hit Huelva in just over a week, following a huge fire that destroyed over 8,000 hectares in and around the Donana Natural Park.

The past weekend also saw a wildfire destroy 1,300 hectares of land between the cities of Valencia and Castellon on the east coast of Spain.