UPDATE: Sierra de Gata Inferno

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THE FOREST FIRE in Extremadura that has now been raging out of control for three days has claimed more than 6500 hectares, and forced some 3000 people to be evacuated to safety.

Now with the populations of Hoyos and Holly, as well as Acebo and Perales del Puerto, having been relocated to neighbouring safe towns of Caceres and Moraleja , local authorities report that the number of evacuees supersedes 3000.

With the forest fire now in its third day and still burning out of control, locals estimate that a minimum of 6500 hectares has already been destroyed, an area they believe will at least double before the blaze is quelled.  Fire crews have been battling the inferno on the ground and in the air with heavy machinery, planes, helicopters and fire engines since Thursday, but have yet to stop the spread of the fire which was allegedly allowed to take hold before they fully swung into action.

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Although some of the people interviewed at the scene were blaming this on lack of communication, efforts have been complicated by high winds.

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