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World Briefing / Spain

4,000 flee fire on Canary island

August 02, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A forest fire fanned by high winds forced the evacuation of about 4,000 residents on the Canary island of La Palma, the Spanish government said.

The fire on steep hillsides southeast of the island's dormant San Antonio volcano has engulfed several houses and could damage wildlife habitats, said environmental worker Narciso Lorenzo. A plume of smoke rose to an estimated altitude of more than 3,300 feet.

The cause of the fire was unknown. Several days of high temperatures have contributed to dry conditions on the normally verdant La Palma, off the West African coast.

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