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Forest fires destroy tourist attraction on Spain's Tenerife

MADRID, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - Masca, a scenic village in the northeast of Tenerife Island on Spain's Canaries, has been completely destroyed by forest fires, which are currently raging on the archipelago, local media said Wednesday.

Since last Friday, 13,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed by fires on Tenerife, but the worst situation is on the island of Gran Canaria, where over 20,000 hectares of pineland has burned.

"Masca, which is one of the most picturesque villages on the archipelago and a place of pilgrimage for thousands of tourists from all over the world, as well as its surrounding forests have been completely burned after all of its 120 citizens were evacuated Tuesday," a correspondent for Canarias24horas newspaper told RIA Novosti.

The incident, he said, is a tragedy not only for people who lived in the village, but for all citizens of the island, as Masca was closely connected with their history and culture.

He added that the situation has improved since the military joined firefighters and rescuers in battling the blazes. In all, about 14,000 people have been evacuated since the beginning of the fires, which may have been deliberately set.

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