Gran Canaria's UNESCO archaeological zone ravaged by wildfires

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By Marta Rodriguez Martinez
Gran Canaria's UNESCO archaeological zone ravaged by wildfires
Copyright  Imágenes cortesía de Unidad Militar de Emergencias - Ministerio de Defensa

The heart of Spain's Gran Canaria has been left devastated by two wildfires that ravaged big chunks of the island this week.

One of the blazes started on Saturday in the north of the island, close to a prehispanic archaeological site declared a UNESCO world heritage site last month. The flames burnt through 1,500 hectares and reached nearby towns.

Locals were left without any light or water because of the blaze. The mayor of the municipality, Teodoro Sosa, said some has "lost everything" in the fire.

On Sunday, the smoke cloud caused by the fire covered the island's summits, with a thousand people evacuated and hundreds sleeping in shelters.

On Monday, a second fire was declared in Telde, in the east of the island, which police are investigating as arson. A suspect was detained. 

More than a million tonnes of water were used to control the fire.

Both fires have now been extinguished.

Video editor • Thomas Duthois