Wildfire in Spain threatens UNESCO World Heritage site
LA GOMERA, Spain - Agence France-PresseFirefighters battle flames near a World Heritage park that have driven thousands of people from their homes, the latest in Spain’s sweltering summer of wildfires.
Firefighters struggled to control the flames that engulfed the wooded hillsides on the island of La Gomera, reducing lush green trees to black dust, spewing grey smoke and displacing residents and tourists. More than 5,000 people remained displaced from various villages on Aug. 13, the regional government estimated. “It is very difficult because of the high temperatures, the wind, the low humidity and the lack of aircraft,” a spokeswoman for the island council, Karen Bencomo said. Fire has devastated over 4,000 hectares of land, including hundreds of hectares in the Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to rare subtropical plants.