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Wildfire burns in northeast Spain; summer camp evacuated

A wildfire in Santa Coloma de Queralt, near Tarragona, Spain, Sunday July 25, 2021. Firefighters in northeast Spain are battling a wildfire that has consumed over 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of woodland. High temperatures and strong winds fanned the flames in the rural area 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Barcelona that broke out on Saturday evening. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu Parra)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Firefighters in northeast Spain were battling a wildfire Sunday that has consumed over 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of woodland.

High temperatures and strong winds fanned the flames in the rural area 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Barcelona that broke out on Saturday evening.

Around 300 firefighters, including members of the military emergency unit, combated the blaze that sent huge plumes of smoke into the sky, seeking to prevent it from moving into inhabited areas. Twenty-eight children and 14 camp counselors were evacuated from a nearby summer camp just in case.

Regional interior chief Joan Ignasi Elena said the effort was complicated by the hilly terrain, which limited access by ground units. Planes and helicopters made runs to dump water on the burning hills.

Authorities asked farmers in the area to clear their fields of crops that could fuel the fire.

“We are in a critical moment,” said Catalonia’s regional President Pere Aragonès. “We must avoid any risky behavior that could force us to divert resources to other emergencies.”

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