Cooler weather helps Spain with fires; rain helps in germany

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MADRID (UKTN) — Cooler temperatures helped firefighters on Monday stabilize a wildfire in northwestern Spain that is reported to be the largest on record in the country.

The fire in the Sierra de Culebra mountain range in Zamora province has so far burned 31,000 hectares (77,000 acres). The official Efe news agency said that made it the biggest on record since a fire in southwestern Huelva province razed just under 30,000 hectares in 2004.

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While the Zamora fire was not fully contained, there are no more flames and it is no longer spreading, authorities said on Monday.

A drop in high temperatures allowed around 650 firefighters supported by water-dropping planes to establish a perimeter around the blaze which broke out on Wednesday. Residents of 18 villages had to be evacuated over the past week.

Elsewhere, 900 people were evacuated from 13 villages in the northern Navarre region where two wildfires were still active.

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Spain has been on alert for an outbreak of intense wildfires as the country last week experienced record high temperatures in many places in June. Experts link the abnormally hot period for Europe to climate change.

In Germany, heavy downpours overnight and on Monday did much to put out two large wildfires some 20 kilometers (12½ miles) apart southwest of Berlin. Officials said hundreds of people were able to return to their homes after being evacuated as a precaution over the weekend. Roads have also been reopened.

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Hundreds of firefighters remained at the scene, fearing the wind would rekindle the smoldering embers.

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