MADRID, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Firefighters have been working on Saturday to extinguish a wildfire which has already burned 500 hectares of woodland in an area known as sierra de Arroyo de San Servan in the province of Badajoz, southwest Spain, the regional government said.
The region is only sparely inhabited with several chalets which are mainly for weekend use.
The fire broke out at around 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Seven helicopters and an aircraft are currently aiding firefighters in their tasks. The causes of the fire is so far unknown, but locals expressed their suspicions that it could have been deliberately provoked, explaining "there is a fire in the region every year."
The regional authorities confirmed that a perimeter has been established around the flames, but the fire has yet to be brought under control.
The fire broke out in the middle of a heat wave which has affected southern and central Spain since Thursday and there is an alert for the "extreme" risk of forest fires with temperatures of over 40 degrees centigrade predicted for eight provinces on Saturday and Sunday.
A temperature of 46.9 degrees centigrade was recorded in the southern city of Cordoba on Friday, which beats the previous high of 46.6 degrees.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Metrological Agency reported that an automatic recording station measured a temperature of 47.3 degrees centigrade in a town called Montoro in Cordoba province. Should this be confirmed, it would be the highest temperature ever recorded in Spain, beating the previous record of 47.2 registered in the city of Murcia in July 1994.