Spanish officials suspect wildfire started deliberately

More than 1,400 people evacuated from two towns and two campsites in southwest Spain

A wildfire in Canon de Almadenes, one of three sites burning in Cieza, southeastern Spain, early on  August 7th, 2015. Photograph: Marcial Guillen/EPA

A wildfire in Canon de Almadenes, one of three sites burning in Cieza, southeastern Spain, early on August 7th, 2015. Photograph: Marcial Guillen/EPA

 

A wildfire that officials suspect was started deliberately has forced the evacuation of more than 1,400 people from two towns and two campsites in southwestern Spain.

Extremadura regional government president Guillermo Fernandez Vara said the blaze in the Sierra de Gata mountain area had charred thousands of acres since Thursday.

People were evacuated from the towns of Acebo and Perales del Puerto and given lodging in the nearby city of Caceres and the town of Moraleja.

Mr Fernandez Vara said it was the fifth fire in the area in recent months and that everything indicated they had been started intentionally.

The Agricultural Ministry said it has sent four water-carrying airplanes and a helicopter to help extinguish the fire. There were no reports of injuries.

The ministry said forest fires in Spain have burned 128,000 acres through July this year, compared with 114,000 acres in all of last year.

Press Association