Spain ‘reasonably optimistic’ of taming wildfire Tuesday

Catalan authorities said Tuesday they had hopes of bringing a huge wildfire in northeast Spain under control.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 24 Jul 2012, 2:11 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:34 AM

“The general feeling is that it will be possible to enter into a control phase during the day,” Catalonia region interior minister Felip Puig said.

“We are reasonably optimistic,” he said, adding that climatic conditions were favourable, with a drop in temperatures and increase in humidity and the absence of wind.

Whipped by wind, the fire has been burning out of control since Sunday and claimed four lives.

Earlier Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the fire services said the fire was “still active”.

Water-bombing planes were grounded late Monday because of the wind, but it died down during the night, she added.

The fire has hardly spread since Monday evening, after ravaging more than 13,800 hectares (34,000 acres) of vegetation in the previous 24 hours.

Firefighters ordered thousands of residents in 17 towns, including La Jonquera and Figueres, to remain indoors with their windows and doors shut because of the threat from the smoke and flames.

Hundreds of people spent the night in emergency shelters set up in the region, mostly in the town of Figueres, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of La Jonquera.

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