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FIRE STORM
Forest fire rages near Tenerife tourist park
by Staff Writers
Tenerife, Spain (AFP) July 16, 2012


A forest fire raging on the Spanish island of Tenerife reached the edge of a major tourist park Monday, spewing thick smoke and red sparks.

The fire broke out on Sunday, prompting emergency services to evacuate 90 villagers from their homes overnight, and has spread over 1,800 hectares (2,700 acres), the regional government said Monday.

The wind-fanned fire reached the edge of the Teide National Park -- a mountainous beauty spot on the Teide volcano, Spain's highest peak and a UNESCO world heritage site.

Coaches and cars were moved from the grounds of the park as a precaution.

It was not immediately clear whether the fire threatened to spread into the natural park.

The regional government of the Canary Islands, an Atlantic archipelago including Tenerife, said 70 firefighters and seven helicopters were busy battling the blaze.

Another fire which started on Monday on the island of Palma, in the same archipelago, led to the evacuation of around 100 people.

Spain is at higher risk of forest fires this summer after suffering its driest winter in 70 years. One fire in eastern Spain this month ravaged 50,000 hectares.

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FIRE STORM
Greece worried by fire-fighting resource shortages: minister
Athens (AFP) July 12, 2012
Greece's new public order minister told reporters on Thursday that one of his main concerns was effectively fighting the forest fires that plague the Mediterranean country in the summer. "When I took on (the new post) I believed that public safety was the main issue, but I saw that the (big) problem lay elsewhere," said Nikos Dendias, who took over the post after elections on June 17. "T ... read more


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