Hundreds of people have been evacuated from villas along the east coast of Spain after a huge fire raged through tourist areas in Alicante.
More than 40 firefighters have been sent out by Spain’s Military Emergency Unit to tackle the blaze, which began on Sunday evening and quickly spread through the Costa Blanca resort of Javea.
At least 20 homes have been destroyed in the flames, Spanish broadcaster RTVE said, and evacuees have been moved to schools, restaurants and hostels in nearby Denia and Benidorm.
Firefighters worked throughout the night to control the flames, which spanned 7km, according to The Local.
It was initially thought the blaze had been brought under control on Sunday; however, new outbreaks started later in the evening fuelled by strong winds and some of the area’s hottest temperatures of the year.
El Mundo newspaper reports that at least three outbreaks occurred in various areas of Javea.
Police said villas in Bentatxell, Tossalet and Cansalades had also been evacuated.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire and are reportedly treating it as “suspicious”.
Jose Maria Angel, the director general of the agency for safety and emergency response, has reportedly suggested the fire could be an arson attack, El Mundo reports.
Andrea Viguer, a spokesman for the Red Cross in the Alicante province told The Spain Report that a team was sent out to the fire at about 8:30pm on Sunday and it soon became out of control.
She said the Red Cross had prepared for an all-night effort and 50 volunteers had been brought in to help with evacuations.
The first aircraft arrived at the scene on Monday morning and it is expected that at least 16 helicopters and seaplanes will be brought in tackle the fires which continue to burn.
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