Second firefighter dies in Spanish forest fires | News | DW | 13.08.2012
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Second firefighter dies in Spanish forest fires

A second firefighter has died as a fierce wildfire rages through southeastern Spain. Officials say fires are also still active on the Canary Islands, where almost 1,000 people were evacuated in the last 24 hours.

The firefighter died in the hospital early on Monday morning of injuries sustained while battling a wildfire near the southeastern city of Alicante.

Another firefighter died in the same fire on Sunday. Two others were injured while fighting the blaze in the pine forest of Torre de les Macanes.

More than 100 children were evacuated from a campsite, and several other peoples were told to leave their homes.

Meanwhile, another wildfire has been wreaking havoc on the Canary Island of La Gomera. More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from Valle Gran Rey in the west of the island as flames raced through tinder-dry cane and pasture, fanned by warm winds.

A ship ferried 629 people to the eastern side of the island on Sunday night and a further 281 early on Monday.

World Heritage site damaged

"The fire remains active and 10 aircraft - planes and helicopters - will intervene during the day," a spokeswoman for the Canary Islands emergency services said.

Officials say the wildfire has burned out more than 3,600 hectares (8,896 acres) and caused considerable damage to the Garajonay national park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Another fire has burned down about 300 hectares of forest on the neighboring island of Tenerife. Further blazes were reported in the Donana national park in the south, Cabaneros national park in the southwest and in the northwestern region of Galicia.

A very dry winter has put Spain at high risk of fires this summer. Last month, four people were killed by a wildfire in the northern Catalonia region.

tj/mz (dpa, AFP)