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Thousands evacuated in Spanish towns packed with British tourists as 'horrendous' wildfire hits the Costa Blanca
05 September 2016 @ 11:21

 

  • Dramatic images show fire raging close to Spanish coastal resort of Xabia
  • Police say about 20 homes are said to have been destroyed in the blaze
  • Three fires broke out on Sunday amid fears they were started deliberately
  • Local sources say a group of 15-year-old youths have since been arrested

Thousands have been evacuated in Spanish towns packed with British tourists after 'horrendous' wildfires hit the Costa Blanca.  

Dramatic images show forest fires raging close to Xabia, south of Valencia amid fears the blaze was started deliberately yesterday.

Holidaymakers and residents are being evacuated to schools and hostels in the area while some 20 homes are said to have been destroyed in the blaze.

According to local sources, a group of 15-year-old youths have been arrested over the fires.

BBC Radio 1 presenter Chris Stark was among those caught up in the drama, tweeting: 'This is crazy. I think my car and maybe my apartment is on fire.'

later confirmed to fans that he was 'safe' but described the inferno as 'scary'. 

It comes amid high temperatures which are due to last well into the week ahead.

One British tourist described the scenes as 'horrendous'.

She added: 'I've never seen anything like it. Really scary. Still got helicopters going over with water. Flames were from one mountain to another. There are hundreds of cars taking pictures.' 

Another wrote on Twitter: 'Crazy to see the pictures from Xabia this morning. Praying for safety and swift eradication of the fires.'

According to local police, properties in nearby Benitatxell, Tossalet and Cansalades were also evacuated as the flames came closer.

There had been hopes yesterday that the fire had been contained, but new outbreaks later took hold.

Aircraft have been used in a bid to contain the blaze overnight.

Police are investigating the fire and say the cause is 'suspicious'. 

According to the Daily Express, three fires broke out yesterday - one at the Cumbres del Sol at 4.10pm, a second at 6.30pm in Granadella and a third at Playa del Arenal at 8.30pm. 

Radio One presenter Chris Stark said he had just started a week long holiday with his family when the fires broke out.

'We were just on the beach all day – it was the first proper day of our holiday,' he told MailOnline.

'We saw this plane picking up water. He was doing shuttle runs, but this fire was so far in the distance. And it was like he did it every day.

'We went away and came back at about six, six thirty-ish. That was when we noticed ash falling from the sky. And the shuttle runs the plane was making were a lot quicker.'

Chris and his family were still unfazed, believing the fire was some distance away. But then the waiters in the restaurant began to crowd around the window, watching the mountains.

One of the party went outside to have a look.

'He came back almost a bit panicked,' the 29-year-old said. 'I thought he was exaggerating.

Read more & view many photos >>>  here

 

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