Ibiza.—Firefighters supported by helicopters yesterday spent a third day battling the biggest wildfire in the history of Ibiza, the authorities said.

After an all-night battle waged by fire crews, helped by increased humidity and calmer winds, the blaze was “active but more stable although still out of control,” the Balearic government said in a statement.

More than 1'500 hectares of vegetation have been scorched in the brushfire, which broke out near the town of Sant Joan de Labritja in the north of the island. About 500 firefighters attacked the blaze from the ground and air yesterday, deploying seven civilian and military helicopters and two planes, the acting Balearic Interior Minister Pilar Costa said.

As a safety measure, the island authorities have now evacuated a total 300 people - including 200 guests relocated from the Paradise Beach hotel in the northeastern resort of Portinatx.

A power cut blacked out 1'800 homes during the night, but electricity had been restored to most by mid-morning. Additionally, around 300 clients of Telefónica will have to wait several days before their phone lines are working again.

Costa said that despite the environmental catastrophe wrought by the forest fire, she was able to report that according to her latest information no-one had been injured and no major damage to property had been sustained.

But she warned that the fire-fighting services still needed to be on their guard because weather conditions could change and prevailing winds could turn the tide of the battle against the blaze, particularly if they were to blow in the direction of inhabited areas. Costa confirmed that standby personnel were ready to evacuate any homes or tourist establishments should it be deemed necessary.

The fire, she said was continuing on two active fronts, one towards Portinatx, and another towards the inland areas of Sant Vicent de Sa Cala.
Costa said that she had “total confidence” in the commitment of the professionals who were tackling the blaze and who were “putting their lives on the line” to save the community.