Palma.—The forest fire which started last week at Sant Joan de Labritja on Ibiza is now “practically under control”, Pilar Costa, the acting regional Minister for the Interior said yesterday.

Speaking at lunch-time, Costa said that she hoped to announce later the same day that no risk of it flaring up again remained. The Minister was relaying news provided by the firefighting services who said that during the morning, they had agreed to lower the risk of the blaze from 2 to 1 so that there was no further need of extra forces. The coordination for the final tasks of extinguishing the fire completely would now fall to the Balearic Nature Institute (Ibanat). There are still three special firefighting aircraft in operation and 80 people working on putting out the fire completely.

Costa confirmed that the estimates of the numbers of hectares of woodland destroyed have now come down from 1'500 to between 1'300 and 1'400. She said that 18 properties had been affected to a greater or lesser degree, one of them had been burned to a cinder.

The Minister said that there was no need for local people to be concerned.