Unexplained fires hit northern Spain

FOREST fires are hitting a number of areas in northern Spain with firefighters estimating that they are battling more than 120, many of which may have been started deliberately, with the regions of Cantabria, Asturias and the Basque Country worst affected.

More than 80 fires are currently burning in Cantabria, where 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of land of “very high ecological value” have been destroyed, according to regional president Miguel Angel Revilla.

High winds which are forecast to continue have not helped the situation but it has been suggested that the current temperature is not sufficiently high enough to explain the proliferation of fires across the regions and in the past, many fires have proven to have been started deliberately, supposedly to make the resulting pasture more attractive to cattle in particular.

Luckily none of the fires appear to be threatening inhabited areas but just before Christmas, one pilot of a helicopter fighting a fire in Asturias died when his helicopter crashed.

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