MADRID (August 11, 2012)--High temperatures have intensified a wildfire on a Spanish island that threatens a valuable wooded area that is a rare survivor of the ancient type of forest that once covered much of Europe, officials say.
Regional agriculture spokeswoman Nancy Melo said the flames on La Gomera were encroaching on Garajonay National Park, which contains laurel forests "of incalculable ecological value."
Melo said some of the wooded land has been in existence for 11 million years.
A Canary Island government statement said the fire on La Gomera broke out a week ago, and that a new fire had started on neighboring Tenerife Island.
Separately, regional environment department spokeswoman Rosa Quintana said firefighters were joined Saturday by 17 water-carrying aircraft to battle a blaze at Ourense in the northwest of the mainland.