By Humphrey Carter
A forest fire destroyed over 50 hectares of pine forest and woodland in Cala San Vicente yesterday and forced the emergency services to evacuate a chalet as the flames reached with 500 metres of the property.

The fire started in the early hours of the morning and was not declared under control until 9.30.
Under the cover of darkness, fire fighters from Can Picafort, Inca and Arta rushed to the scene along with four teams from the Balearic Institute for Nature (Ibanat). They battled the blaze until first light at 6.30 when they were given aerial support from two helicopters, a spotter plane, two Airtractor fire fighting planes and the huge Canadair aircraft from Pollensa, which all dumped thousands of litres of water on the flames. The overnight fire crews were replaced by fresh fire fighters and the aircraft and choppers buzzed the area for the best part of three hours with the helicopters refilling their buckets in some of the nearby swimming pools.

Shortly after the fire being brought under control, residents evacuated from a villa were allowed to return. Yesterday afternoon, a small team of fire fighters remained at the scene, investigating the cause and making sure it has been fully extinguished.

The fire was the second to have hit the area in the past two weeks. The first caused widespread damage to the mountain which over-looks Alcudia.

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