STAFF REPORTER

FIRE-FIGHTING teams were locked yesterday afternoon in a battle with a blaze which had succeeded in penetrating a section of the Albufera nature reserve.

The flames, said the Balearic Institute for Nature (Ibanat) fanned by strong winds, were spreading to a worrying extent.
The fire had apparently broken out at about 2pm on a stretch of road between Sa Pobla and Albufera and in no time at all, was threatening the nature reserve.

Ibanat sent 35 fire-fighting officers to the area equipped with several fire engines and four helicopters which flew over the affected area repeatedly, bombarding the flames with water.

Also active in trying to bring the blaze under control yesterday were the Guardia Civil, Local Police and Civil Defence groups.

Although the fire had initially sprung from a single source, the strong winds forced open the centre of the blaze until it was burning on two separate fronts.

The fierce nature of the fire made tackling it extremely difficult and officers were working for hours to bring the blaze under control.
The site was promptly visited by regional Transport and Environmental Minister, Gabriel Vicens who was keen to know how the fire had started. Local Police sources said that fires alongside the nature reserve were “relatively frequent” but that they were nearly always swiftly extinguished.