Published:  03:06 PM, 19 August 2019

5,000 evacuated as Canary Islands wildfire rages

5,000 evacuated as Canary Islands wildfire rages
A raging wildfire on the
Spanish holiday island of Gran Canaria forced the evacuation of some 5,000
people, authorities said Sunday, warning it could take days for the blaze to
be brought under control.

The fire, which has spread to the mountainous Cruz de Tejeda region
popular with tourists for its breathtaking views, is “extremely fierce” and
“unstable”, said Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres in a statement.

No fatalities have been reported.

More than 600 firefighters and 14 aircraft battled to contain the flames,
hampered by strong winds and high temperatures.

With the temperature set to rise Monday, authorities estimate it could
take days before the blaze is brought under control.

“The next few hours will be very important because the weather forecast
for the night is not good,” Torres said.

The fire broke out days after another wildfire in the same region forced
the evacuation of hundreds.

Gran Canaria is the second most populous of the Canary Islands in the
Atlantic off the northwest coast of Africa.

The Canary Islands received 13.7 million foreign visitors last year, over
half of them from Britain and Germany.

Spain is frequently plagued by huge forest fires because of its arid
summer climate.

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