Wildfire in southwestern Spain forces 500 to evacuate homes

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Hundreds of people have been evacuated in southern Spain due to a raging wildfire, regional authorities said.

Firefighting teams and planes were battling a blaze in the Sierra Bermeja mountain range in Malaga province, which started late on Wednesday.

At least 500 people were evacuated near the resort town of Estepona, while road traffic has also been disrupted.

As the blaze expanded overnight, a housing development with about 50 residents was also emptied by authorities on Thursday morning.

Around 250 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire on the ground, helped by 29 planes, authorities said.

Smoke from the blaze also led to the temporary closure of 14 kilometres on the AP-7, a major motorway, as well as two smaller roads.

The regional fire extinguishing service said that the rugged terrain had made the firefighting operation “difficult”.

“It has pronounced slopes and there is a strong west wind that is complicating the work,” Infoca said in a statement.

Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition said that an estimated 74,200 hectares of forest and bush areas in the country had burnt during the hot, dry summer months of 2021.


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