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Spanish Wildfires: Man Killed, Thousands Flee 

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  #1  
Old 08-31-2012, 03:15 PM
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Spanish Wildfires: Man Killed, Thousands Flee

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Thousands of people, including hundreds of Britons, have been evacuated after a huge wildfire reached the tourist hotspot of Marbella.

Some 4,000 people fled their homes after the forest fire raged near Malaga on Spain's southern Costa del Sol, authorities said.

Two people have been seriously injured and one man has died. The body of the elderly man was found near a charred house where he had apparently returned after being evacuated, according to a spokesman for the Andalusia regional government.

Several hundred Britons were evacuated, including 300 who have been relocated to evacuation centres in the La Cala de Mijas and Calahonda areas, said a Foreign Office spokesperson.

No British casualties were reported but consular staff have been deployed to visit evacuation centres.

The flames broke out on Thursday in the Sierra Negra mountains, later stretching up to 12 kilometres. Half a dozen municipal districts have been affected.

The blaze was fanned by strong winds and high temperatures, challenging 250 firefighters, eight planes and nine helicopters dumping water on the flames.

"A relative lack of humidity, strong winds and high temperatures in the afternoon helped the fire to grow quickly," said a statement by the area's regional government.

After dawn on Friday, winds had dropped and the air was humid, helping firefighters to get the flames under the control, the Andalucia government said.

"The fire may be stabilized in the next hours," it said.

Millions of tourists visit the southern coast every year and hundreds of thousands of expatriates live in the coastal belt stretching from Marbella east to the port city of Malaga.

UK Twitter user Paul Mort said: "Huge forest fire here in Malaga. Some of my friends had to be evacuated. Luckily for me, am on the beach. Everyone okay I think."

Matt Henderson in Marbella said: “Woke up to find the balcony covered in ashes, and learned that 350 firefighters are fighting a huge local fire."

Resident Georgia Toffolo said: "Have been evacuated from the villa because of a massive forrest fire! The one early night I try to have...Some poor bloke was running down our hill with a suitcase.

"This fire is absolutely horrendous - didn't realise quite how bad it is. The smoke is hideous and the flames. The army are here giving masks."

Spain has seen 1,500 square kilometres of land burnt in nearly 12,000 wildfires this year after suffering its driest winter in 70 years.

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Old 09-01-2012, 10:00 AM
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Re: Spanish Wildfires: Man Killed, Thousands Flee

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Wildfires that forced thousands of people to flee their homes on Spain's Costa Del Sol have now been brought under control.

At least one person died, two sustained burns, and more than 4,000 others - including hundreds of Britons - were evacuated as the fire started by arsonists was whipped up by strong winds.

Sky's Europe correspondent Robert Nisbet said 450 firefighters spent the early hours battling flames threatening houses in the wealthy resort of Marbella, but the blazes are now contained.

"You can still see pretty dense smoke above the mountains here, and there is an acrid taste of smoke in the air," he added.

"So it's clear that the fires are not out, but they are contained. They say this is now a level 2 emergency so it's down a little from where it was last night.

"But it was a fairly terrifying experience for the hundreds of residents who were forced to evacuate, taking refuge in a shopping centre and a sports centre nearby here."

Hundreds of Britons are among those forced out of their homes, including 300 who have been relocated to evacuation centres in the La Cala de Mijas and Calahonda areas, a Foreign Office spokesman confirmed.

The charred body of an elderly man was found near a house where he had apparently returned after being evacuated, according to the Andalusia government.

Local police found the body while searching through the burnt embers, the statement said.

Two 58-year-old people were in a critical condition with burns covering more than 60% of their bodies, it added.

Authorities said the fire started outside the mountainside town of Coin, northeast of Marbella, and arson was suspected.

A dry winter followed by a scorching hot summer has left much of southern Spain tinder dry and vulnerable to fires.

Around 580 square miles of land in Spain has burned in nearly 12,000 wildfires so far this year.

Other European nations, including Greece, Portugal and Bosnia, have faced similar blazes.

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Old 09-02-2012, 09:44 AM
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Re: Spanish Wildfires: Man Killed, Thousands Flee

every year the same, just like in cali etc. after weeks of high temps and no rain.

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