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Wildfires in Spain force 1,000 to evacuate homes

Wildfires in Spain force 1,000 to evacuate homes

Authorities in Spain say two wildfires in the south have forced the evacuation of around 1,000 residents, making this the worst summer in a decade for countryside devoured by flames.
Regional officials say a fire started near Bedar, 85 kilometers (about 50 miles) north of Almeria, where residents spent the night in a sports center. Bedar Mayor Maria Gonzalez said Sunday that residents had joined firefighters in combating the flames.
Another fire was being brought under control near the beach resort of Estepona, about 35 kilometers (20 miles) west of Marbella.
This year, Spain has lost 149,300 hectares (577 square miles) of forest and countryside in more than 11,650 wildfires, compared to around 107,000 hectares (415 square miles) for the whole of 2002.