Major forest fire forces evacuation of 100s of people in northeastern Spain

A wildfire racing through forested hills in northeastern Spain has forced the evacuation of several hundred people.

The blaze broke out Sunday afternoon in dry woodland and was being fanned by steady winds. Within hours the fire had charred around 450 hectares (1,100 acres). Firefighters said some 400 people were evacuated.

Spanish news agency Europa Press said seven water-dropping helicopters and more than 100 vehicles were at the scene. The agency said two firefighting aircraft and another three helicopters were on their way to help.

Several roads were closed in the area around Odena, which is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Barcelona. The region is famed for its attractive countryside.