Forest fires raging in several regions of Spain have caused more fatalities, including the pilot of a plane which crashed while he was attempting to drop water on a fire in the Galicia region. Earlier a fireman died while fighting the flames near Avila, in the Castille and Leon region. Many of the new fires that broke out this weekend were said to have been started deliberately. Amid scorching temperatures and the worst drought for 60 years, officials are warning that negligence can lead to tragedy. In Leon, seven helicopters and four airplanes dropped water bombs as winds fanned the flames across large areas of forest. Residents have been evacuated from their homes. In Portugal, fires blanketed much of the north of the country. Thousands of fire-fighters, many of them already exhausted, have battled to bring all but two of the blazes, both in the Oporto region, under control. But with temperatures expected to top 40 degrees Celsius in southern provinces, much of the country remained at a maximum state of alert.
Fires in Spain cause new fatalities