by Staff Writers
Los Realejos, Spain (AFP) Oct 30, 2012
A storm caused a forest fire on the Spanish island of Tenerife that threatened a village, prompting residents to evacuate from their homes, an official said Wednesday.
Strong winds blew down an electric pylon that caused a fire which spread over 3,000 square metres (32,000 square feet), said a local council official who asked not to be named.
The fire struck in Los Realejos on the north of the popular holiday island, which despite Tuesday's stormy weather remains largely parched after a scorching summer.
The official told AFP that about 20 people were evacuated, denying other reports that put the figure as high as 200.
Areas of Tenerife and other parts of the Canary Islands were on storm alert Tuesday and authorities closed schools as a precaution, the regional government said.
High winds battered the Atlantic archipelago and heavy rain was spreading from west to east, heading for Tenerife, the state weather office said.
"The wind has dropped a lot and we are hopeful that when the rain comes the fire will go out," said the official, adding that emergency services were fighting the blaze on difficult terrain.
Spain is this year at particularly high risk of fires after its driest winter in 70 years. Flames destroyed more than 184,000 hectares (454,000 acres) of land between January and September, according to the agriculture ministry.
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology
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