Forest fire in Spain kills eleven

The forest fire in Spain in which eleven fire fighters lost their lives this weekend is almost under control according to government sources this morning, and efforts are being made to recover the bodies of the eleven victims.

Forest fires are always a great hazard during Spanish summers, but the drought in Spain has further increased the risk of fires this year, and holiday-makers in rural and mountainous areas are being urged to act with even more caution than usual.

Experts have confirmed that Saturday’s fire in Guadalajara which, apart from killing the eleven firefighters has also destroyed over 8,000 hectares of land, was started when a group of people were having a barbecue. Today one of them has been summoned to declare before police, but so far nobody has been arrested. The President of the Regional Government of Castilla la Mancha has announced that his government will pass a law immediately to prohibit people from having barbecues in the Castilian countryside during the Summer months.

The fire has affected four villages and over 600 people were evacuated over the weekend. They are expected to be able to return to their homes today. Four roads remain closed, and three planes, three helicopters, 16 heavy vehicles and five groups of firefighters are still working in the areas where the fire is still burning.

The vice-president of Spain has called an emergency meeting this morning which will be attended by five ministers. Fernandez de la Vega visited the fire zone yesterday, and had to face boos and jeers from residents of one village who have criticised what they consider to be a lack of fire-fighting resources made available by the government.