Firefighters fight raging wildfires blazing through forests in eastern Spain

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A large wildfire continues to burn out of control in eastern Spain on Friday, scorching at least 1,000 hectares and forcing the evacuation of 1,500 residents of nearby towns.

The blaze was reported on Thursday near Villanueva de Viver in Castellon and spread rapidly, fuelled by strong winds and temperatures of around 35 degrees Celsius, news reports said. It affected towns and areas of Castellon province and Aragon’s autonomous community.

According to news reports, around twenty aircraft and 400 firefighters were battling the fire, which had also caused power outages in some areas.

Water-dropping aircraft joined ground crews deployed to tackle the fast-moving blaze that scorched some 1,000 hectares amid high temperatures and strong winds, local media reported.

The fire started in Villanueva de Viver, a municipality in Castellón, and spread to the Teruel towns of San Agustín and Olba, according to local media.

A drop in temperatures overnight was expected to help firefighting efforts across the region, according to media reports citing local officials.

It is not entirely clear what was the origin of the first big fire of the season, but it is suspected that it could be bad agricultural practices, according to local media.