Madrid region wildfire still burns out of control on 4th day

MADRID (AP) — A wildfire in hills near Madrid was contained but still not extinguished Monday after burning for four straight days, authorities said.

More than 500 firefighters supported by 49 vehicles and 14 water-dropping aircraft attended the blaze some 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the Spanish capital.

The aircraft were taking special care to avoid dumping water on the nest of an imperial eagle — a protected species — in the area, the Madrid region emergency services said. A conservation group said the nest contained a chick.

Lower temperatures after a record-breaking heat wave in recent days and a weakening wind gave officials hope they might soon get an upper hand over the blaze, Madrid regional fire chief Agustín de la Herrán said.

However, temperatures in the area were still around 36 Celsius (97 Fahrenheit).

Police were investigating the cause of the fire.

Separately, a major wildfire in northeast Spain, which started on Wednesday, was brought under control late Sunday.

Wildfires this year charred more than 38,500 hectares (95,133 acres) of woodland up to June 23 — roughly three times more than in the same period last year.

The Agriculture Ministry's latest figures do not include blazes in recent days which have blackened around 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres).

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