Gran Canaria wildfire forces evacuation of 1,000 and spreads to popular vacation area

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Aaround 1,000 people have been evacuated from various cities in Gran Canaria as a huge natural fire spread to a National Park and an area popular with holidaymakers on the Spanish island, emergency services said.

Firefighters used planes and helicopters to fight the fierce fire, about 20 miles from the capital, Las Palmas. The fire posed a threat to various cities, as did the Tamadaba national park in the west of the island, the authorities said on Twitter.

Witness Carla Rodriguez described the scene as "one of the most painful images I have seen in my life".

Mrs. Rodriguez was on her way to Juncalillo with some friends for a local festival.

"The first time I saw the fire, we made the detour to Juncalillo and I realized how close it was. I didn't expect it because I had read it was under control in different areas," Rodriguez told Reuters.

"But after the party, when we came back, we decided to look again to see how much the fire had progressed and to see it out of control was devastating. The tears came because I love nature and seeing it burn that way was quite disturbing. "

The police said they believed the fire was lit by someone who used a soldering iron. A 55-year-old man was arrested on Saturday.

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