HomeEarthCooler weather helps Spain with fires; rain helps in Germany

Cooler weather helps Spain with fires; rain helps in Germany

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Cooler temperatures helped firefighters stabilize fire in northwest Spain on Monday, the largest on record in the country, according to reports.

The fire in the Sierra de Culebra mountains, in the province of Zamora, has so far set fire to 31,000 hectares. State news agency Efe said it was the largest since a fire in the southwestern province of Huelva in 2004 destroyed nearly 30,000 hectares.

Although the Zamora fire has not been fully contained, there are no more flames and the fire is not spreading, authorities said Monday.

A rising drop in temperatures allowed some 650 firefighters, supported by draining planes, to establish a perimeter around the fire that began Wednesday. Last week, people from 18 villages had to be evacuated.

Elsewhere, 900 people were evacuated from 13 villages in the northern region of Navarre, where two fires still raged.

Spain is on the hunt for an outbreak of severe forest fires as the country experienced record temperatures in many places in June last week. Experts link the abnormally hot period for Europe to climate change.

In Germany, heavy downpours overnight and Monday largely helped put out two large fires about 20 kilometers (12 and a half miles) southwest of Berlin. Officials said hundreds of people were able to return to their homes after being evacuated as a precaution over the weekend. Roads have also been reopened.

Hundreds of firefighters stayed put, fearing the wind would rekindle the smouldering embers.

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