Army deployed to tackle wildfires in Spain as police suspect arson
SOME 500 soldiers have been deployed to help battle a wildfire authorities believe was started intentionally and which has burned 80sq km in northern Spain.
Aerial images showed clouds of smoke billowing skyward as the blaze cut across pine tree hillsides around the town of Castrocontrigo, some 320km north-west of Madrid. The fire has not led to the evacuation of any residents so far.
Castrocontrigo mayor Aureliano Fernandez said yesterday that authorities believe the fire was started intentionally and that the person responsible tried to start one in the area last week.
The Agriculture Ministry said 1,400sq km of woodland has been burnt in around 11,000 wildfires between January 1 and August 14, most of which have been started by people.