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Wildfires rage on Spain's Canary Islands

By the CNN Wire Staff
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
A general view of El cubillo de Uceda during a forest fire near Guadalajara on Saturday.
A general view of El cubillo de Uceda during a forest fire near Guadalajara on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Blazes are burning on the islands of La Gomera and Tenerife
  • Close to 5,000 people have been evacuated
  • Weather conditions are complicating efforts to control the flames

(CNN) -- Wildfires on Spain's Canary Islands have forced close to 5,000 people from their homes, the local government said Saturday.

Weather conditions are complicating efforts to control the flames, which are burning on two of the islands -- La Gomera and Tenerife.

"The crews ... are having trouble stopping the spread of the fires," said Javier Gonzalez Ortiz, an area economy, security and housing minister.

He cited winds, high temperatures and low humidity.

Helicopters are helping to work both fires and shelters have been set up to assist those forced from their homes, the government said. The blazes have also forced some road closures.

Approximately 2,500 people were evacuated on La Gomera, while the number on Tenerife was reported as slightly more than 2,220.

The Spanish Canary Islands are located off the northwest coast of Africa.

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