Spain wildfire forces 3,000 residents to evacuate

A wildfire that started last week in Spain’s Huelva province has continued to spread, prompting the evacuation of around 3,000 residents from nearby areas.

Twenty-five aircraft and helicopters are helping to combat the blaze, that first erupted on August 27, along with 250 firemen, supported by 157 members of Spain’s Military Emergency Unit and local volunteers, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Agricultural Minister for the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Carmen Crespo, told reporters that it would be a while before people were able to return home because “it is a fire with a very large growth, whose perimeter must be sealed, and, for the moment, we must prevent anyone from returning”.

It is being believed that the fire began as the result of sparks from a car, which quickly spread due to high temperatures and strong winds in a region of pine woodlands and scrub.

The quantities of undergrowth, which is now dry, are large due to a wet spring and the coronavirus lockdown.

Crespo explained that lower temperatures in the coming days will help firefighters.

Wildfires are a constant problem in Spain during summer months, with 3,607 fires of varying size reported this year by July 12.