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Spanish PM visits fire-ravaged region


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Spanish PM visits fire-ravaged region

Spain has called on its European neighbours for help in fighting more than 120 fires in the north western region of Galicia. Local emergency services have been struggling to bring the blazes under control, prompting a visit by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who cut short his summer holiday to come to the area. Help is on its way from France, Italy and neighbouring Portugal, who have pledged personnel and fire fighting equipment. Zapatero meanwhile has promised to boost government assistance for those affected by the fires.

The blazes have destroyed some 10,000 hectares of forest and killed three people in the past week. Authorities in Spain and in Portugal, where many fires have also been raging out of control, believe many were started deliberately. Police in both countries have already arrested several suspected arsonists. And despite the arrival of reinforcements from other countries, Spanish officials have warned that the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.

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