The forest fire in Minorca that was declared around two o'clock this morning (Tuesday) is under control, and the extent of the damage is now being put at a lower amount than earlier - almost 37 hectares (around 90 acres). Of the 600 or so people who were evacuated, some are now able to return to their properties. Regional government sources say that the cause was some children who had been letting off bangers.
Strong winds and very dry conditions had raised concerns as to how quickly the fire could be brought under control. The regional environment minister, Vicenç Vidal, who travelled to Minorca this morning, said that initially the fire was very high risk. The situation now is "better than we could have imagined".
The president of the Council of Minorca, Maite Salord, who earlier tweeted to suggest that today would be a long and bleak day (she herself went to the scene at 4.30 this morning), says that although the conditions were not favourable, the actions of firefighters had been "exemplary".
The chief of the fire service on the island, Joan Gorrías, who had earlier said that it would take hours to control the fire because northerly winds were making extinguishing it difficult, reports that only one property has been affected.
The fire broke out on land at Punta Grossa in Arenal d'en Castell and extended to Cala Molí, Na Macaret and Addaia.
In addition to fire crews on the ground in Minorca, efforts to tackle the fire have been assisted by a Canadair, three helicopters and two other planes.
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