In Spain suffering from its worst drought since records began to be kept in the late 1940s, a spark was enough to cause a fire, which claimed lives of 11 firefighters, forced hundreds of people to be evacuated from their villages and destroyed thousands hectares of woodland.
The firefighters who died on Sunday had gone out in two groups to try to bring the fire under control, said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry's office in the central province of Guadalajara, where the fire occurred, says the AP.
Reuters reports, the bodies of the firefighters were found by police beside the charred chassis of their four-by-four vehicles, after a sudden change in the wind direction on Sunday left their patrol encircled by flames.
Environment Minister Cristina Narbona told state radio some 8,000 hectares had been burned by Monday. A brigade of paratroopers and nine firefighting planes had been sent to tackle the blaze, including some from neighboring France.
The fire began Saturday afternoon in the Cueva de los Casares natural park.
It was still raging out of control late on Sunday. Police said sparks from a barbecue that had not been fully extinguished had caused the fire.
The fire was raging on two fronts, aided by blustery winds and summer temperatures of up to 40 Celsius.