Palma.—Council of Majorca fire fighters suspect that the forest fire which started on Sunday in Bunyola trapping hundreds of hikers and 60 of their cars, was caused by accident or a careless hiker.

The blaze, which raged through the night and was not declared under control until yesterday morning, destroyed nearly six hectares of woodland and small teams of fire fighters were continuing to douse the area yesterday afternoon as winds picked up, increasing the opportunity of the fire being brought back to life.

Joan Rossello, head of the Council of Majorca fire brigade, said yesterday that the fire had been started by natural causes but expressed his concerns because the annual forest fire season has not even started yet and many parts of Spain are having to fight early forest fires because of the past two unusually dry winters which are dragging Spain into a drought.

It took fire fighters, with aerial support, 22 hours to bring the fire under control and a number of weekend campers and hikers were evacuated
A full investigation is being mounted into what caused the fire, but the Balearic environmental group GOB; maintain the blaze was started on purpose.

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