La Palma blaze in Canaries claims one dead, 2,500 evacuated

Fire burns 5,000 acres in the centre of volcanic island known for rich vegetation

A firefighter works to extinguish a forest fire at La Palma island in the Canary Islands. Photograph: EPA

A firefighter works to extinguish a forest fire at La Palma island in the Canary Islands. Photograph: EPA

 

A forest worker was killed and 2,500 people evacuated on the Canary island of La Palma after a forest fire was reportedly started by a German burning soiled toilet paper.

Firefighters and army emergency service soldiers have been using eight water-carrying helicopters and three water-dumping planes to battle the three-day-old blaze raging amid high summer temperatures and strong winds.

Fatality

The forest worker died on Thursday while helping to control the fire.

The 27-year-old German, who was not named, admitted starting the fire accidentally by burning his soiled toilet paper, said police.

The fire has burned some 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) in the centre of the volcanic island known for its rich vegetation and mountainous countryside.

AP