Cigarette butt blamed for devastating 1,000-acre fire by nature reserve

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in Spain’s Costa Brava region as a forest fire rages on.

The blaze has devastated more than 1,000 acres on the edge of Cap de Creus natural park since Friday.

It’s believed to have been started because someone threw a smouldering cigarette from their car.

Firefighters used water-carrying planes today as they battled to control the wildfire.

Sergi Palacios, of the Catalan regional government’s fire service, said: ‘We’re trying to bring the fire under control at the moment using six aircraft, which are pouring water onto the flames and 90 fire crews on the ground.’

Dramatic video footage shows firefighters tackling flames in near darkness overnight.

They can be seen climbing up rock faces to get a better angle as plumes of smoke spread across the sky.

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Huge swathes of forest and scrubland have already been razed to the ground.

Jordi Puignero, vice-president of the Catalan regional government, told reporters: ‘One negligent cigarette butt is 50 years of reforestation.’

As many as 350 people have been forced from their homes.

More than 231 of these had to seek shelter in temporary accommodation offered by the local council in El Port de la Selva district.

Police said anyone found responsible for causing the fire by throwing away a lit cigarette could face criminal charges.

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