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Wildfire forces evacuation of residents from Spanish towns

A wildfire that officials suspect was started deliberately has forced the evacuation of more than 1,400 people from two towns and two campsites in south-western Spain.

Extremadura regional government president Guillermo Fernandez Vara said the blaze in the Sierra de Gata mountain area had destroyed 12,000 acres since Thursday.

People were evacuated from the towns of Acebo and Perales del Puerto and given lodging in the nearby city of Caceres and the town of Moraleja.

Mr Fernandez Vara said it was the fifth fire in the area in recent months and everything indicates they have been started intentionally.

The Agricultural Ministry said it has sent four water-carrying planes and a helicopter to help extinguish the fire. There were no reports of injuries.

The ministry said forest fires in Spain have destroyed 128,000 acres through July this year, compared with 114,000 acres in all of last year.

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