Over 1,000 holidaymakers have been forced to vacate their hotels in Ibiza as a fire has swept through the island’s mountainous interior.
The fire, which started on Wednesday, has swept across over 4,500 acres of pine forest near Sant Joan de Labritja. The towns of Portinatx and Cala de Sant Vicent, Es Figueral and Serra de Monar are also thought to have been affected. 200 local residents have also been evacuated from their homes.
A 50 year old local man has been arrested in connection to the blaze. It is thought that he accidentally started the fire with a smoke-machine that he was using on a bee-hive.
According to Spanish authorities, firefighters have prevented the fire from spreading to the popular coastal areas, but the fire is still raging in the interior mountain region.
Carme Chacon, Spain’s defence Minister, has asked for more Government support. He told the press that their priority was to control the fire.
Hotels in the area, including the Paradise Beach in Port Portinatx, have moved guests to safer parts of the island. Paradise Beach, evacuated around 280 tourists , to sister properties in Port San Miguel following discussions with the tour operators and local officials.
This is Ibiza’s second fire in a year. Last August, fire-fighters spent days extinguishing a smaller blaze in Benirràs, not far from the current one.
The FCO is currently advising holidaymakers to keep in contact with their tour operators who are monitoring the situation. If they think it is dangerous they will provide new accommodation.