BREAKING: Massive fire ravages Gran Canaria as hundreds evacuated from homes

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(Pic: EPA)

Hundreds of people have been evacuated after a huge fire broke out in the hills – ripping through 900 hectares.

Firefighters have siad they are being “overwhelmed” by the spread of the flames. 

Spain has been enduring some of the hottest temperatures on record amid a sweltering summer, increasing the risk of wildfires.

Huge plumes of smoke can be seen from all parts of the island, and even from as far away as Tenerife.

It is believed to have been started by someone using a soldering iron – and a 55-year-old has been arrested over the blaze.

(Pic: TWITTER/@GranCanariaCab)

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Air support has been called in to help firefighters battle the blaze, which was originally thought to be under control.

The Gran Canaria fire brigade tweeted: “We are overwhelmed by the situation.

“We continue working and fighting for our island.”

(Pic: TWITTER/@GranCanariaCab)

Numerous villages have been evacuated and residents spent the night in municipal buildings such as sports centres, schools and community halls.

The municipalities of Tejeda, Artenara and Gáldar are among the locations where people were told to leave their homes with the districts of Las Peñas, El Tablado, El Rincón, Juan Fernández, La Culata, Peña Rajada, Las Arbejas and Las Crucitas all affected.

The fire started in Artenara which is in the western part of Gran Canaria in the mountains and about 20 miles from the capital of Las Palmas.

 

According to bulletins, the fire spread rapidly through the summit last night but there were hopes it was being brought under control.

(Pic: TWITTER)

This morning, the island’s council tweeted:  “During the morning, Ten air means will be incorporated into the #IFArtenara extinction tasks at the #GRANCANARIA summit.

“Nine helicopters from different administrations (State, Government and Cabildo) and an airplane will participate.”

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