Spanish soldiers were deployed in Andalusia on Sunday to help fight a massive wildfire that has forced thousands of people to flee.
At least 260 military units from the Emergency Intervention Battalion were deployed to protect Jubrique, Farajan, Genalguacil, and Pujerra in the Malaga province in southeastern Spain.
“We are talking about a fire of unusual power and strength compared to the fires we are used to seeing,” Alejandro Garcia, a fire service official, said.
The blaze, which entered its fifth day Monday, has destroyed nearly 7,000 hectares of forest and forced approximately 2,500 people to evacuate.
Authorities evacuated nearly 1,500 residents of the towns of Jubrique and Genalguacil, and four other villages, on Sunday.
Before the weekend, over 1,000 additional residents had been evacuated from areas surrounding Estepona, a popular tourist destination and home to foreign ex-pats.
Meanwhile, a 44-year-old firefighter died Thursday while trying to extinguish the blaze.
Garcia also linked the wildlife to global warnings.
“We have been talking a long time about the consequences of abandoning the environment or climate change. Today we are living them,” he said.
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