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Solar-panel fitters arrested over devastating forest fire
By:
thinkSPAIN , Saturday, June 30, 2012

TWO men have been arrested on suspicion of causing a massive forest fire that has led to 900 people being evacuated from their homes in a rural village in the province of Valencia.

Country houses and urbanisations are dangerously close to the blaze in Cortés de Pallás, a remote inland area at considerable distance from towns of any size, and their occupants have been forced to flee.

Guardia Civil officers said the accused men are solar-panel fitters who are said to have started the inferno negligently, but not deliberately.

The flames broke out on Thursday but nine hydroplanes and 1,000 fire-fighters working in shifts continue to attempt to bring the blaze under control.

Winds of around 40 kilometres per hour mean they are struggling to stop the fire from spreading, and already over 1,000 hectares have been wiped out.

Affected areas, besides Cortés de Pallás, include other villages in the Ayora-Cofrentes district – an area where the population of British citizens is said to be in excess of 70 per cent.

The inferno is also encroaching onto neighbouring districts, the Ribera Alta and the Hoya de Buñol, with villages such as Macastre, Montroi, Yátova and Dos Aguas being under threat.

Regional president of the Comunidad Valenciana, Alberto Fabra, has already likened the uncontrolled burning to Dante's Inferno.

 
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