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National park threatened as fires rage in Canaries

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National park threatened as fires rage in Canaries


The battle is on in the Canary Islands to put raging forest fires under control, including one in Tenerife which is threatening a precious nature reserve.

Two days after they began burning, the fires are said to have spread across nearly 2,000 hectares and in some areas are still out of control. More than 50 percent of the land has reportedly been seriously burnt.

The Teide National Park, the largest in Spain, is a mountainous beauty spot centred around a volcano and a UNESCO world heritage site.

The fires, including one on the island of La Palma, broke out on Sunday. Local reports say they started in at least three different places and the authorities reportedly suspect the work of arsonists.

More than 200 people have been moved out of their home. Coaches and cars have been removed from the grounds of the national park as a precaution.

The government in Madrid has sent planes to Tenerife to help the firefighting effort.

The driest winter in 70 years has put Spain at higher risk of forest fires than ever this summer. One fire in the east of the country ravaged 50,000 hectares.

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