By Humphrey Carter
PALMA

EVERY firefighter on Ibiza was mobilised yesterday to tackle a blaze near a beach which broke out on Sunday afternoon and forced the evacuation of 1'200 partygoers, including hundreds of Britons.

The fire remained “active,” a spokesman for the island's emergency services said yesterday as the Balearic President, Francesc Antich, and the Central Government delegate, Ramon Socias, flew in to inspect the scene for themselves and boost the moral of the fire fighters and emergency teams.

Around 1'200 people who had gathered on the beach in Benirras bay for a party were evacuated on Sunday evening, hundreds by boat, because they risked being cut off by the blaze.

According to initial estimates, the fire covered an area of around 100 hectares (250 acres).

Every firefighter on the island was mobilised, and reinforcements drafted in from Majorca.
Several of those evacuated had light injuries, a spokesman said, without specifying exactly how many were hurt or the nature of the injuries.
Around a dozen homes and a hostal near the beach were also evacuated, while the fire also reached a parking lot, with up to 20 cars caught by the blaze.

Antich, who spent most of yesterday at the scene, said at lunchtime that it was difficult to say when the fire would be brought under control but he said that the good news is that there were no major casualties.

The Balearic President also made it clear that if more manpower and resources were needed to battle the blaze, he would call for extra help from central government.

Antich said that access to the area of the fire is very complicated and densely populated by young pine trees hence it will take time to fully extinguish the blaze.

Socias said that it was the worst forest fire to have hit the Balearics since 2006 and the Civil Protection department yesterday placed the region on forest fire alert as temperatures began to rise reaching highs of over 36ºC in some parts of central Majorca.

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