FIREFIGHTERS spent the weekend bringing a fire under control in the Altea area of Alicante province.

The blaze was reported at 3.30am on Saturday in woodland and forced an immediate precautionary evacuation of 125 homes in the Altea Hills, Mascarat, and Maryvilla urbanisations.

Residents were allowed back to their properties on Saturday afternoon.

The AP-7 motorway and N-332 highway were closed for a time as was the tram line between Garganes and Calpe.

Strong winds fanned the fire which started in woodland at Mascarat between the two highways and adjacent to the Altea Hills urbanisation.

The severity of the blaze led to fire crews being drafted in from Benidorm, Denia, Benissa, San Vicente del Raspeig, Ibi, Villena, and Elda plus air support and two Valencia region forest firefighting teams.

The terrain made it difficult for firefighters to easily access the area, but the blaze was eventually brought under control at 8.00pm on Sunday with no property damage or injuries reported.

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