Spain: Wildfire continues; over 5,000 evacuated
Madrid: Over 5,000 people have been evacuated as wildfire in the south coast of Spain continued on Friday.
The village of Ojen and eight towns in the tourist attraction Costa del Sol area have all been affected by the fire, which began on Thursday night and spread rapidly along a 12 kilometre front as a result of the strong winds, which are frequent along that stretch of Spanish coast.
The local government has sent 17 fire-fighting planes, five transport aircraft and nine helicopters to fight the flames, along with hundreds of firefighters, while several roads in the area have been cut for safety measures.
The environment spokesman for Malaga, Javier Carnero, said that the changing wind was now helping to contain the flames, adding that the fire was not spreading as quickly as in other recent fires in Spain as the area affected was not woodland but has been developed for housing estates, golf courses and the like.
However, that urbanised character of the zone meant that many people have had to be evacuated to the nearby area of Marbella.
A hot summer plus the lack of rainfall in recent months have made 2012 a bad year for wildfires in Spain.
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