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Spanish wildfires isolate popular summer destinations

Jul 23, 2012 5:28 am

Skift Take

Mother Nature disrupts some of Europe’s busiest weeks for summer travel as deadly forest fires suspend train routes and close major highways to Cost Brava and southern France.

— Samantha Shankman

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Forest fires that broke out on Sunday in Girona, a tourist spot bordering with France in Spain’s northern Catalonia region, have killed three people and were still out of control in the evening, local media said.

The area is home to one of the most popular beach destinations in Spain, the Costa Brava.

Strong winds hindered firefighters’ efforts and have so far spread two fires over 9,000 hectares (22,000 acres). The interior minister of Catalonia, Felip Puig, was quoted in Spanish media as confirming the deaths.

A man and his 15-year-old daughter were killed after jumping off a cliff to escape the flames, while a third person died of a heart attack. El Pais newspaper said 19 people had been injured.

About 80 km (50 miles) of roads have been cut off in the area, a big artery for holidaymakers making their way to and from southern France in the coastal province. Residents were being told to stay at home, while the winds were pushing the fires towards Figueres, a town of around 50,000 people.

Editing by Alessandra Rizzo

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