By Chris Bradley
Over 1000 holiday makers in Ibiza have been forced to leave their hotels due to a fire spreading through the centre of the island. The mountainous region is not heavily populated or massively popular with tourists. The fire started on Wednesday and burned its way through 4,500 acres of pine forest as well as towards the towns of Es Figueral and Serra de Monar, Portinatx and Cala de Sant Vicent. Two hundred locals have been forced to leave their homes.
It is thought that the fire was started by a man using a smoke machine with his beehive. He has been arrested. Fire fighters have been working hard to keep the fire under control, preventing it from spreading to the coastal areas, which are where most tourists visit. However, some hotels have evacuated guests to safer areas. Those in Paradise Beach at Port Portinatx have been moved to Port San Miguel which is close by but further from the fires. This was in reaction to discussions between the local officials and tour operators.
There was a fire in this area last August which took days to put out. Travellers to the area are being advised to keep in touch with their tour operators to find out what is being done. If they feel there is a risk, they will move them to safer hotels in nearby areas. The defence minister, Carme Chacon, has asked for more government support to help to control the fire, which is their biggest priority at the moment.