Villas in Spain evacuated after forest fire spreads to tourist areas

Evacuees were moved to nearby schools, restaurants or hostels

Villas in Spain evacuated after forest fire spreads to tourist areas

Image: Google Maps

At least 1,000 people have been evacuated from villas along the Spanish coast after a forest fire spread to tourist areas near Benidorm, according to reports.

Images showed flames rising above treetops in Xabia, south of Valencia, after the blaze broke out on Sunday.

Evacuees were moved to nearby schools, restaurants or hostels according to reports, with at least 20 homes apparently destroyed by the fire, broadcaster RTVE said.

Police were investigating the cause of the fire, which has been described as suspicious.

The area is popular with tourists and has seen high temperatures which are expected to last into next week.

Homes in Benitatxell, Tossalet and Cansalades were also evacuated after the flames moved nearby, according to local police.

Firefighters had earlier thought the fire was under control, El Mundo newspaper reported, but new outbreaks began.

Aircraft have been brought in to tackle the fires, which were still burning overnight.