6 firefighters killed in Spain this week

July 24, 2009 at 4:48 PM
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MADRID, July 24 (UPI) -- The death toll from wildfires in Spain this week rose to six Friday when a firefighter died four days after he was burned..

The 31-year-old man, an employee of the Catalan regional government, was trapped with four other firefighters Tuesday when wind direction changed suddenly near Horta de Sant Joan, CNN reported. The other men were killed instantly, but the 31-year-old was hospitalized with burns over more than 50 percent of his body.

Another firefighter died Thursday in Aragon when he was burned while driving a truck in eastern Teruel.

Wildfires are common in Spain during the summer, which brings hot dry weather to the Mediterranean region. In 2005, 11 people were killed by a wildfire in Guadalajara.

The Horta de Sant Joan fire was brought under control Friday after burning more than 2,000 acres, authorities said. The fire in eastern Teruel had spread to more than 17,000 acres and was burning uncontrolled on several fronts.

The government has deployed 800 soldiers to assist in firefighting.

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