Extremadura forest fire forces evacuation of 1,400 people

A FOREST fire in Extremadura has forced 1,400 people from their homes in two towns in the Sierra de Gata mountains. The massive blaze means the total number of hectares scorched in major fires this year already exceeds the number seen in the last two years, with the dry season far from over.

Residents of the towns of Acebo and Perales del Puerto, as well as holidaymakers from a number of mountain campsites, have been taken to Caceres and Moraleja, where the Red Cross is looking after the evacuees in conference centres.

The fire was fought on Thursday (August 6) by crews on the ground and in the air, using heavy machinery, planes, helicopters and fire engines to tackle the flames, although efforts were complicated by high winds.

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