Gran Canaria towns in Spain evacuated as wildfire rages

Firefighters are using planes and helicopters to fight the blaze

Firefighters are using planes and helicopters to fight the blaze

Footage from the wildfire (Spanish audio). The fire is a threat to several towns as well as the Tamadaba national park on the west of the island, authorities said on Twitter.

A WILDFIRE raging in Gran Canaria has forced evacuations from a dozen areas.

Speaking at a news conference, he said that the affected area was 1,000 hectares (about 2,500 acres). The island is visited by nearly 1million Britons a year. An emergency military unit specialized in fighting fires has also been deployed, said the regional government of the Canary Islands.

Troops have been drafted in to help 200 firefighters battle the blaze, which now spans almost 2,500 acres, about 20 miles from the capital Las Palmas. A 55-year-old man was arrested by the Civil Guard on suspicion of reckless behaviour.

Alongside firefighters, more than 120 troops have worked to extinguish the flames in Jucalillo and the Tamabada Natural Park.

The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: "Staff at our consulate in Las Palmas are monitoring the situation and stand ready to assist any British people who need help".

Witness Carla Rodriguez described the scene as "one of the most painful images I've seen in my life".

"The first time I saw the fire we were reaching the diversion to Juncalillo and I realized how close it was".

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