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Javea fire: Dangerous wildfire near Spain's Valencia forces thousands to evacuate

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A dangerous wildfire is raging on Spain’s Costa Blanca, some 120 km (75 miles) southeast of Valencia, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. It is believed to be started deliberately, on one of the hottest days of the year. 

The fire started on Sunday, September 4 and became more severe on Monday afternoon as it moved toward populated areas in Cumbre del Sol. More than 300 firefighters and about 65 vehicles have been deployed.

Valencia emergency services head Jose Maria Angel said, as reported by the BBC, that he believed three fires that ripped through vegetation and destroyed buildings were due to “the hand of man… in a very precise way.” He told reporters aircraft were dumping water on the area every four minutes.

The army has also set up centers for thousands of evacuees, some in local schools.

According to locals, at least 20 houses have already been burned down, ‘but there could be more as the fire has been directed toward populated areas, many of which have been evacuated.’

Two teenagers, believed to be a part of the group responsible for starting the fire, were arrested this morning, local media reports.

Temperatures in the Valencia region have risen to more than 40 °C (104 °F) on Sunday, September 4 and are expected to remain high.

Video courtesy Javier Soler Pico

Video courtesy BBCWorld

Video courtesy Walter van Gelder

Video courtesy Walter van Gelder

Featured image credit: Javea wildfire on September 5, 2016

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