MADRID, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Around 500 people have been evacuated as a result of a wildfire which is burning in the province of Huelva in the southwest of Spain, emergency services have confirmed on Saturday.
The fire close to the town of La Granada de Riotinto, began early on Friday afternoon, provoking the majority of the evacuations on Friday night and during the early hours of Saturday morning, mainly as a result of smoke blown by strong winds.
Several small villages; La Aulaga, El Peralejo, El Peramigo, Las Cortecillas, Minas del Castillo, Fuentepinar and Vistahermosa have all been evacuated.
Emergency services report that the fire is extremely difficult to combat, because of drought conditions which have left the countryside dry and easy to burn. Meanwhile the wind blowing off the Atlantic has helped spread the flames and smoke.
Four firefighting aircraft and two helicopters are currently involved in fire-fighting duties, along with 120 firemen on the ground who are using 10 fire engines and four bulldozers to help extinguish the flames.
Figures published by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment in August showed the first seven months of 2017 have seen a total of 63,700 hectares of countryside destroyed by wildfires in Spain.
This is 18 percent higher than the average amount of damage caused over the seven-month period in other years and the second worst figure for the past five years.