Forest fire grips region

LAST UPDATED: 28 Jul, 2009 @ 12:55
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Forest fire grips region

OVER 700 guests at a hotel in Tarifa had to be evacuated after a forest fire raged out of control.

The holidaymakers had to be moved from the Hotel Meliá Atlanterra on Saturday after fire crews grew concerned over their safety.

Residents from the Jardines de Atlanterra urbanisation and a campsite were also evacuated and rehoused in a local school.

In total it destroyed 300 hectares of woodland in the Sierra Plata area of Tarifa.

The firefighters had to contend with winds gusting up to 80kph on Saturday.

Meanwhile the high temperatures and strong winds have sparked a wave of forest fires across Andalucia.

In Almeria over 500 people had to be evacuated after a fire raged through the Sierra Cabrera.

The blaze, which was started by lightning destroyed 4000 hectares of scrub and woodland.

Fires also broke out in the Sierra Blanca, near Marbella, which came dangerously close to Arroyo de los Monjes, an area under environmental protection.

“strong winds have sparked a wave of forest fires across Andalucia”

Fire crews found it difficult to control the blaze due to the elevated terrain and were dependent on planes and helicopters to subdue the flames.

Their work was also complicated by a another fire starting nearby in the Guadalhorce Valley.

Starting near Casarabonela, the high winds stoked the flames and caused the closing of the A-345 and A-357 roads.

The most destructive fire in Spain broke out in Catalonia where one man died and 5000 hectares of land were destroyed in Agramont, near Lleida.

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