An out of control #fire started close to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Doñana National Park on Saturday and saw around 250 soldiers involved in combating the blaze, along with 600 Spanish firefighters. On Tuesday the blaze was under control. The park is an important conservation wetland and is home to a variety of migratory birds and animals, including the Iberian lynx, one of the world’s most highly endangered cat species, as well as the Spanish Imperial eagle.

Blaze in Doñana National Park is under control

By Tuesday, Spanish firefighters had the blaze under control, with only one remaining hot spot, seen from a reconnaissance flight over the area.

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Juan Ignacio Zoido, the Minister of the Interior, sent a tweet to say roads in the area have been reopened and the soldiers who had been sent to help fight the fire are returning to their bases.

The regional environmental chief, Jose Fiscal, said they should have an idea of the amount of land affected shortly.

As reported by Euroweekly News, a pine forest that had been planted as a fire buffer on the northern edge of the park is gone.

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However, environmentalists say it is a good time to carry out a replantation with more trees, including other species. One biologist who works in the park said if there is a good autumn, the recovery in the park could be "spectacular."

No human casualties experienced in the fire

While there were no casualties from the blaze, around 2,000 people were temporarily evacuated from the area. The fire also affected the towns of Mazagon and Moguer in Huelva. Local media reported Monday that 50,000 people living in the coastal town of Matalscañas were at that stage trapped and unable to leave the town, due to strong winds spreading the flames. Those evacuated are now able to return home, with the exception of 500 who are reportedly still housed in temporary accommodation.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, with authorities investigating to establish whether arson was the cause.

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The fire reportedly started in an area with many plastic covered greenhouses.

Two missing Iberian lynxes

As reported by El Pais, authorities at an important Iberian lynx breeding center in El Acebuche had to take extreme measures to protect the animals. 14 lynxes were safely evacuated, but 13 were left behind as the flames closed in on the area. On Monday morning, 11 of the 13 animals were found to be still present on the property and staff are confident the two missing cats will return. One female Lynx by the name of Homer died during the evacuation, with staff believing the cause was most likely stress.

The fire in the park comes in the wake of the deadly fire that killed 64 people in Portugal last week. Both countries are currently suffering from a severe lack of rain and high summer temperatures.

The aerial video footage below shows the heartbreaking devastation to the natural park.

#Spain #Donana National Park