Dozens of wildfires broke out in Spain

Photo: AFP

Firefighting crews aided by cooler temperatures made progress Monday in their battle to contain dozens of wildfires which broke out in northern Spain but strong winds were still a threat, officials said.

Some 300 firefighters and soldiers backed by water-dropping aircraft had managed to reduce the number of forest fires burning across the Asturias region from 99 to 47 by Monday evening, local emergency services said.

In neighbouring Cantabria, the number of blazes dropped to 16 from 18, emergency services there said.

They warned however that on Tuesday, "the weather will play against firefighting crews" due to strong winds.

Already on Monday, the fires were being fed by strong southerly winds, with gusts of up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) an hour, and unusually warm temperatures for this time of the year, local officials said. No injuries were reported.

Spain is prone to wildfires in summer, especially in the more arid southern regions and along its Mediterranean coastline.

But such incidents are unusual in winter, especially in rainier northern regions such as Asturias and Cantabria.

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