San Francisco Chronicle

Wildfire builds in Andalusia


A major wildfire in southern Spain grew Friday despite firefighti­ng efforts by 38 waterdropp­ing aircraft. The blaze tore through an area of hilly woodland for a second day, with one official describing it as “a hungry monster.”

The Andalusia region’s agency in charge of firefighti­ng efforts, Infoca, ordered most crews working in the uneven terrain to withdraw late on Friday, leaving the work to aircraft dropping water.

The agency said strong winds and temperatur­es of around 86 degrees drove the fire, which has burned more than 9,000 acres of forest, prompting the evacuation of at least 1,000 people. People in some villages were told to stay indoors with their windows shut due to thick smoke that saturated the hills.

“We have a hungry monster, so we’re trying at the moment to ring it off and then move in to put it out,” said Alejando Garcia, deputy head of the Andalusian regional fire service.

A 44-year-old firefighte­r perished Thursday while trying to extinguish the blaze.

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