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Forest fire in Spain this August. Andres Kudacki/AP/Press Association Images

Forest fires on holiday island of Majorca forces people to flee

Around 200 people have fled from the fires with emergency services still grappling to control the fire from spreading.

AROUND 200 PEOPLE were forced to flee from a fire on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca today, local authorities said.

About 450 hectares (1,100 acres) of forest were destroyed in the Majorca blaze, which is still out of control on the Mediterranean island although 130 people had been mobilised to try to put out the flames.

A spokesman for the local government said about 200 people and 50 homes had been evacuated in the area on the northeast of the island, which is known for its agro-tourism.

Spain is highly prone to forest fires in summer because of soaring temperatures, strong winds and dry vegetation.

Last year wildfires destroyed about 150,000 hectares of land from January to July, after one of the driest winters on record.

This year the winter was wetter and there have been fewer summer fires so far.

In Portugal, several hundred firefighters were tackling forest fires raging in the north and centre of the country, backed by two Spanish Canadair planes. The Portuguese have sought help from authorities in Spain and France.

- © AFP, 2013

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