Man dies in wildfire started by burnt toilet paper on Spanish island

A 54-year-old man died Thursday while helping fight a wildfire on the Spanish island of La Palma that broke out after toilet paper was set on fire, the Spanish news agency Efe reported.

The man, who was not a firefighter, worked for the forest authority. The circumstances of his death were not immediately known.

A 27-year-old German man arrested by Spanish officials admitted to starting the fire after setting toilet paper on fire Wednesday afternoon in the the hills near Jedey, according to a press release from the Spanish civilian service.

The Spanish ABC newspaper reported that the man had been living in the woods and did not have a permanent address.

Scores of firefighters have been beating back the wildfire, which has spread due to heavy winds on the island, local media outlets said.

Some 700 people have been forced to evacuate in the communities of San Nicolas, Tacande and Jedey, according to Efe.

The sounds of helicopter blades could be heard at daybreak as firefighters attempted to stop the flames moving towards El Paso, the German-language online magazine La Palma 24 Journal reported.

High temperatures predicted for the upcoming days and strong winds could complicate the battle to quell the flames.

La Palma is the most north-western island in the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, which sit off the coast of north-west Africa.

Last update: Thu, 04/08/2016 - 14:00
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