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Around 1,500 People Evacuated Amid Raging Wildfire in Northeast Spain
By Staff, Agencies
A massive wildfire in drought-hit northeast Spain, which expanded alarmingly on Sunday, has forced the evacuation of eight villages and at least 1,500 people in Zaragoza province, according to local reports citing firefighters.
The "extremely violent" wildfire, which sparked in the town of Anon de Moncayo on Saturday, was raging in the Aragon region in the province of Zaragoza on Sunday, according to officials.
It developed a 50-kilometer [31-mile] perimeter in less than 24 hours, the local forest chief was quoted as saying, burning through 8,000 hectares of the hilly forested landscape and forcing people to evacuate their homes and workplaces.
The head of the local Aragon government, Javier Lamban, was quoted as saying on Sunday that the situation was critical in the town of ANon de Moncayo and the priority for firefighters fighting the blaze was to protect human lives and villages.
Some 300 firefighters and army personnel have been mobilized in the area to contain the wildfire.
Drought and high temperatures in the Mediterranean country have turned 2022 into the worst year of the century in terms of wildfire.
The director of Natural Environment and Forestry Management in Zaragoza province described the current situation as "critical".
He expressed concern about the safety of the Moncayo Natural Park which has a diverse landscape ranging from glacier remains on the hilltop to deep forests of beech, kermes oak, oak, pine, and juniper trees on its mountain sides.
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