Four die in Spanish wildfire | News | DW | 23.07.2012
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Four die in Spanish wildfire

A raging wildfire in northeastern Spain has caused the deaths of four people. An unusually dry winter means the country is at an increased fire risk this summer.

A wildfire in northeastern Spain fanned by strong winds has left four people dead and more than 20 others injured.

Officials said two people - a 60-year-old French man and his 15-year-old daughter - jumped in the sea and died on Sunday while fleeing the flames near the town of Portbou near the French border.

The Catalan regional government said another 70-year-old French man died from a heart attack as he helped battle the fires near his home in the town of Llers.

The health department said a 64-year-old French national who suffered 80 percent burns on Sunday has since died of his injuries.

Several of the people injured were said to be in a serious condition.

The blaze broke out just after noon on Sunday near the town of La Jonquera close to the French border and has burnt out 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of land, the Catalan government said.

Regional government spokesman Felip Puig said on Sunday that train services in the region were suspended, and several roads linking Barcelona to France were closed because of the fires.

Spain has suffered its driest winter in 70 years, putting it at a higher risk than usual of forest fires this summer.

Earlier this month, a wildfire ravaged 50,000 hectares in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia.

tj/tm (AFP, AP)