As forest fires continue to ravage two of Spain’s Canary Islands, the country’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is to visit the area later today. On Tenerife fire fighters are still battling to control the wild fires with strong winds and high temperatures making the job especially difficult. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the two worst hit islands with more than 35,ooo hectares so far having been razed, forcing more than 13,000 people to leave their homes. Satellite images have shown all too clearly the intensity of the fires in what is being described as both an economic and environmental disaster just as the tourist season reaches its peak. On Gran Canaria, the authorities have announced emergency aid of 300,000 euros to victims. But it’s little consolation to one woman who said she didn’t have time to pack anything when she was forced to leave – she only has the clothes she stands up in and she needs her medication but can’t go back. The original fire is said to have been started by a disgruntled forest ranger unhappy over the ending of his work contract, he’s now being held by police.
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