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Spanish firefighters tackle scrub blaze near Santa Margarita

Spanish firefighters were on Tuesday afternoon tackling a fire in the area of Santa Margarita in La Línea, as westerly winds pushed the blaze through scrub toward Venta Melchor.

Residents of the upper area of Venta Melchor, adjacent to the plot where the incident originated, were evacuated by order of the Policia Nacional as a precautionary measure as the flames edged closer to homes in the area.

There were no immediate reports of damage to any properties.

The fire, which caused a dense smoky haze visible from Gibraltar and various points in the Campo de Gibraltar, started after 12:30 on a large plot adjacent to Avenida del Burgo.

Personnel from the Provincial Consortium of Firefighters, with support from firefighters in Algeciras, worked to contain the fire but their efforts were hindered by the westerly wind.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Plan Infoca has implemented an operation due to the affected forested areas.

The regional entity has mobilised three helicopters, four seven-member groups of forest firefighters, two reinforcement brigades, three operational technicians, one fire truck and an environmental agent.

La Linea has also mobilised its municipal resources to support the work.

Apart from tackling the fire itself, efforts are also focused on soaking scrubland close to properties to try and prevent the fire from reaching built-up areas.

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