Hundreds of firefighters, backed by water-bombing planes, battled a wind-fuelled wildfire in northeast Spain on Monday, July 23 that left four French nationals dead and trapped thousands of people indoors, AFP said.
The blaze claimed its fourth life Monday when a 64-year-old Frenchman who suffered 80 percent burns after his car was engulfed in flames died at a Barcelona hospital, the Catalan regional government said.
Another 23 people were injured, including eight who remain in hospital, it added.
The wildfire broke out on Sunday near the town of La Junquera and spread rapidly across the Alt Emporda region near the French border, whipped up by winds of up to 90 kilometres (55 miles) an hour.
Smoke from the blaze, which has so far ravaged up to 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of land, reached Barcelona, Spain’s second-biggest city located some 150 kilometres (90 miles) south of the border.
“The fire is still raging. The winds are less strong now and aeroplanes have now swung into action,” a spokesman for the fire brigade in Catalonia told AFP.
About 500 firefighters backed by 22 French and Spanish water-bombing planes and helicopters were battling the blaze, emergency services said.
The worst fire ravaged 50,000 hectares in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia earlier this month.