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Mallorca: barbecue blamed for huge forest fire

Mallorca: barbecue blamed for huge forest fire
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The authorities in Mallorca said a fierce forest fire near the town of Estellencs in the west of the Spanish island is likely to be brought under control on Tuesday.

Police have arrested a man who they said accidently starting the fire with a barbecue at his home.

At the weekend 700 people had to be evacuated as the blaze neared Estellencs.

It began near Andratx, quickly scorching through the oak and pine forest above the town.

Since then, the fire has blazed through an area of more than 2,000 hectares – the worst fire in Mallorca since 1999.

With temperatures of 40 degrees in the shade and high winds, it moved fast and was difficult to contain.

More than 300 firefighters were deployed on the ground. Aeroplanes and helicopters were also used to douse the flames.

One local resident wept as she described the damage: “Our homes are fine and also our animals, but everything else was burnt, everything! Our tractor, our machinery, everything, everything is burnt.”

The area that has been damaged is in the far western part of the Sierra de Tramuntana, a park area of great natural beauty which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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