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Scores evacuated, one dead as Canary Islands 'toilet paper' blaze rages on

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Scores evacuated, one dead as Canary Islands 'toilet paper' blaze rages on

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A devastating wildfire was still out of control on Friday (August 5) on the Canary island of La Palma.

Police said they arrested a 27-year-old German who admitted sparking the blaze on Wednesday – accidentally, as he answered nature’s call and then burned the used toilet paper.

The fire has already ravaged more than 3,000 hectares in the centre of the volcanic island, known for its lush vegetation.

One park ranger died while fighting the flames, and more than 2,500 people have been evacuated.

One resident said: “There’s so much heat and ash in the air that we had to leave, wait until it’s over and hope our house doesn’t burn down.”

The last big fire on the island was in 2009, when four thousand people were evacuated.

La Palma is a popular tourist destination and this week’s wildfire comes at the height of a record summer holiday season.

Soldiers and fire-fighting planes have been deployed to contain the flames, fanned by strong winds and high summer temperatures.

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