Some 3,000 inhabitants have now had to be evacuated from their homes in southwestern Spain as wildfires that officials suspect were started deliberately continue to rage for a third day.

Around 1,000 residents were evacuated early Saturday from the town Hoyos in the Extremadura region as flames were fanned by strong overnight winds, regional government president Guillermo Fernandez Vara said.

Fernandez Vara said more than 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) had burned since flames were detected Thursday in the Sierra de Gata — a region of outstanding natural beauty. He said evidence pointed to the existence of numerous separate ignition points, indicating that "man's hand must be behind these fires."

Firefighters were also combatting a wildfire in the southeastern Murcia region, where 700 hectares had burned down.