Monday, July 30, 2007

Firefighters struggle to contain blazes in South Europe

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: Firefighters backed by helicopters struggled Sunday to douse major forest fires across southern Europe as special prayers were held in Romania for an end to a deadly heatwave searing the continent. Firefighters staged an uphill battle to extinguish the flames which have ravaged forests in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, as well as Spain's Canary Islands off the western coast of Africa. In Bulgaria, where 23,000 hectares (nearly 57,000 acres) of woodland have been burned in the scorching temperatures of the past week, fires continued to rage in the south and centre.

…On mainland Spain, a fire which broke out on a military firing range in Andalusia had scorched about 3,500 hectares as well.

In Greece, five fires were burning Sunday in the northwestern areas of Ioannina, Florina, Kozani, Pieria and Thesprotia, where some 300 firefighters were deployed to control them.

…Parts of Italy remained on high alert, but firefighters said the level of threat had gone down slightly.

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