Pilot dies in battle to control Spanish wildfires

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Pilot dies in battle to control Spanish wildfires

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The wildfires which have been sweeping across parts of eastern Spain have claimed the life of a helicopter pilot.

His death comes after two helicopters fighting the inferno crashed in separate incidents. The pilot died when he came down near the port of Valencia. In the other crash two pilots were injured and taken to hospital.

It is reckoned over 120,000 acres have been charred in the fires. Jesus Cortes the president of the Jerica Mountains Association said: “The pines that have been destroyed will need 40 years to grow again.”

Authorities said with the help of cooler temperatures they now have up to 70 percent of the two wildfires, under control. They started last Thursday.

Two thousand firefighters backed by 40 helicopters and aircraft battled the blazes in the Valencia and Murcia regions.

Many of the 3,000 people who were forced to leave their homes have now been allowed to return. The Spanish Minister for Agriculture, who visited one of the areas, said work on the recovery would start as soon as possible.