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Spanish wildfire forces 1,000 from their homes near Valencia

Associated Press Associated Press 5/09/2016
Awildfire burns nearby Benitachel village, eastern Spain, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Spanish firefighters are still working to bring under control a forest blaze near Valencia that forced the evacuation of around 1,000 people. Authorities said more than 200 firefighters with 65 vehicles were deployed Monday to the wildfire some 350 kilometers (220 miles) southeast of Madrid. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) © The Associated Press Awildfire burns nearby Benitachel village, eastern Spain, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Spanish firefighters are still working to bring under control a forest blaze near Valencia that forced the evacuation of around 1,000 people. Authorities said more than 200 firefighters with 65 vehicles were deployed Monday to the wildfire some 350 kilometers (220 miles) southeast of Madrid. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

MADRID — Spanish firefighters supported by two dozen water-dropping aircraft worked in temperatures of around 40 C (104 F) on Monday to try and control a forest blaze that forced the evacuation of around 1,000 people.

Authorities said more than 300 firefighters with 65 vehicles were deployed to the wildfire near Valencia, around 350 kilometers (220 miles) southeast of Madrid.

The head of the Emergency Response and Security Agency, Jose Maria Angel, told reporters the aircraft were dumping water every four minutes.

Temperatures in the area were forecast to remain high, but officials were hoping a stiff wind that has fanned the flames would diminish.

Emergency services said they almost brought the blaze under control on Sunday, but when the firefighting aircraft stood down after sunset the fire surged again and compelled the evacuations.

Authorities say they suspect the fire was started deliberately.

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