Gran Canaria wildfire: 2,000 evacuated as blaze rages out of control

Gran Canaria wildfire: 2,000 evacuated as blaze rages out of control
By Mark Armstrong
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Around 2000 residents have been moved from their homes on Gran Canaria because of second forest fire within a week.


Authorities on Spain's Canary Islands said at least 2,000 people have been evacuated due to an out-of-control wildfire — the second blaze in a week.

At least 250 firefighters, nine helicopters and two planes were working on Sunday to tackle the flames near the town of Valleseco on Gran Canaria island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago, the provincial government said in tweets.

Officials say the blaze "has great potential" to spread and have ordered evacuations in at least six towns.

It is the second time in a week that people in and around the Tejeda district have had to be taken to safety because of a forest fire.

Emergency military units are helping local firefighters to tackle the flames and water-bomber planes have been sent from Malaga and Sevilla to assist.

Residents moved from their homes were taken to a local sports centre.

"I am very worried because my house is up there, tucked into all that mess there. Now we are here waiting to see what happens," one man told reporters.

In the early hours of Sunday, the fire was heading towards a previously affected area where there is less for it to burn.

However, emergency services remain alert to the fact that the wind could change direction at any time and and take it towards somewhere more populated.

So far this year there have been three times more wildfires compared to the average over the past decade.

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