Firefighters bring wildfire near natural park near Tarifa under control

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

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.