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Spain deploys military against wildfire, evacuates 2,500 : What you need to know

Picture couresy: AP

Thousands have left their homes after wildfires broke out in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.

One emergency worker has been killed in the blaze, which began on Wednesday on high ground above the popular resort town of Estepona on the Costa del Sol.

The blaze in Malaga province has destroyed nearly 7,000 hectares of forest and prompted fresh evacuations, bringing the total number of residents displaced to around 2,500. Authorities are describing the blaze in Sierra Bermeja, a mountain range in the Malaga Province, as a sixth-generation fire of the extreme kind brought by the shifting climate on the planet. The "mega-fires" are catastrophic events that kill, blacken large areas and are difficult to stop.

About 500 firefighters were working in shifts on the ground, assisted by 50 water-dropping airplanes and helicopters from the air. Another 260 members of a military emergency unit joined them on Sunday. A 44-year-old firefighter died Thursday while trying to extinguish the blaze.

Spain's weather agency, AEMET, had forecasted rain in the area for later Monday, but it was unclear if the rainfall would help to quell the flames.

Climate change increases the risk of the hot, dry weather that is likely to fuel wildfires.

Climate scientists say there is little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme events, such as heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms.

The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.

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