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Firefighters bring wildfire near natural park near Tarifa under control

Firefighters aided by calmer winds have brought a wildfire under control that had erupted near Spain's famous Estrecho natural park in the southwest of the country.

Firefighters bring wildfire near natural park near Tarifa under control
Photo: Infoca

The blaze which had raged since Wednesday at Punta Camarinal near Tarifa in the province of Cadiz amid scorching temperatures was contained at 2:30 pm  (1230 GMT), the firefighting service in Andalusia announced on Twitter.

Firefighters were still at the scene to fully extinguish the blaze, it added.

The flames threatened, but did not enter, the nearby 19,000-hectare Estrecho natural park, a spokesman for the service said.

The park is home to oak, cork and wild olive trees as well as birdlife, such as white storks, vultures and falcons.   

It also takes in Bolonia beach, which is regularly included on lists of Spain's best beaches because of its fine white sand and crystal clear waters.   

Wind gusts of up to 55 kilometres (35 miles) per hour had fanned the flames, but firefighters said slower winds on Thursday had helped them gain the upper hand against the blaze.

Like much of Spain, Cadiz is on high alert for forest fires because of a heatwave pushing temperatures past 40C  (104 Fahrenheit).   

Spain's meteorological office, Aemet, said the hot spell would stretch from Wednesday to at least Sunday as a mass of hot air moves up from Africa.

In 2008, a wildfire destroyed around 500 hectares (1,200 acres) of land in the Estrecho natural park forced the evacuation of around 1,000 people.

Images showed the devastation left by the fire.

Forest fires raged in other parts of Andalusia.

FIRE

Barcelona fire kills four, including two children

A fire ripped through an abandoned bank occupied by squatters in central Barcelona on Tuesday, killing four people, including a baby and a three year-old boy, Spanish firefighters said.

Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people.
Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

“While we were battling the fire, we found four people. Emergency services tried to revive them but unfortunately they failed, they could not do anything to save them,” the head of the firefighting operation, Ángel López, told reporters.

Firefighters rescued four other people who were inside the building while putting out the blaze, he added.

Those four were treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters rushed to the scene at around 6 am after being warned that a blaze had broken out in the building, Mr Lopez said.

While Mr López said it was not clear how the four dead people were related, Barcelona-based daily newspaper La Vanguardia said they were all members of a Romanian family.

A spokesman for Catalonia’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, said an investigation had been opened into the causes of the fire.

In December 2020, four people were killed after a blaze ripped through an industrial complex occupied by squatters, many of them African migrants, near Barcelona.

Over 100 squatters were believed to be living in precarious conditions at the abandoned complex in Badalona, a suburban town north of the city.

In addition to the four deaths, more than 20 people were injured in the blaze.

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