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Canary Islands Forest Fires Force Thousands To Flee

EFE (Spain), BBC (UK), AP


A thousand people were evacuated Sunday night in La Gomera, in Spain's Canary Islands, as forest fires continue.

Two boats transported residents from the Valle Gran Rey area to the town of San Sebastian overnight, after the fire blocked off road access, the BBC reported.

The Garajonay nature reserve, a Unesco World heritage site, has also been badly affected.

The fires have forced 5,000 people in total to flee their homes since Friday.

Casimimo Curbelo, a local government official told AP: "We are living through hell. We have asked the central government for more resources with which to fight the fire."

This tweet from a Spanish journalist shows her anger that no State official has come to the island to offer support to the island's citizens:

[Now I understand the system of autonomies: La Gomera has been burning for a week and not one national leader has turned up.]

An unusually dry winter followed by soaring temperatures in recent weeks is reported to be the cause of the fire.

A fire is also ablaze, although on a smaller scale, in nearby Tenerife, which attracts thousands of tourists in the summer months.

On the mainland, a forest fire in Alicante has claimed the lives of two firefighters over the weekend, EFE reported.

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