Saturday 21 September 2019

Thousands evacuated in Gran Canaria as raging wildfire 'has great potential' to spread

Flames and smoke from a forest fire are seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria, Spain
REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Flames and smoke from a forest fire are seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria, Spain REUTERS/Borja Suarez
A helicopter carries water to fight a forest fire seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Two people look at flames and smoke from a forest fire, seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Flames and smoke from a forest fire are seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People who were evacuated from their homes look at a helicopter dropping water to fight a forest fire seen in the village of Valleseco REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Some 2,000 people have been evacuated on one of Spain's Canary Islands due to a wildfire that has ravaged more than 1,235 acres (500 hectares) since it broke out less than 24 hours ago.

At least 250 firefighters, nine helicopters and two planes were working on Sunday to tackle the flames near the town of Valleseco on Gran Canaria in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago, the provincial government said.

Officials said the blaze "has great potential" to spread and have ordered evacuations in at least six towns.

The island suffered another ravaging fire last week.

A helicopter carries water to fight a forest fire seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria
REUTERS/Borja Suarez
A helicopter carries water to fight a forest fire seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria REUTERS/Borja Suarez

Wildfires are common in southern Europe during the hot, dry summer months. Nearly half of Spain's provinces were on alert on Sunday due to a high risk of fires, according to the country's weather agency, AEMET.

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