Strong winds continue to fan a series of forest fires in Spain. Hundreds of firefighters are struggling to contain about 25 separate blazes, some in protected nature reserves.
On Tuesday, four firefighters died in the Catalonia region in the northeast of the country, and thousands have been evacuated in other regions. The fire chief in Tarragona, Felix Gonzalez, said: “The terrain is very difficult. There is no access and the forest is extremely dense. We are only able to work with special firefighting aircraft.” Eight regions are battling forest fires, with a lethal combination of strong winds and temperatures close to 40 degrees celsius. Tens of thousands of hectares have been scorched and the fast train line between Madrid and Barcelona has been disrupted. Passengers are being forced to make alternative travel plans. A minute’s silence has been held for the four firefighters who died in Catalonia. Officials say the men were surrounded by flames after a surprise change in the direction of the wind.