A forest fire continues to burn in the central Spanish province of Avila and so far it has destroyed more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of pasture and brush, the regional government of Castilla y Leon announced Sunday.

The fire, which authorities say was set intentionally, is rated at risk level 2 on the 0 (lowest) to 3 (highest) scale, and more than 300 firefighters are working to bring the flames under control.

The ground-based fire teams are being backed up by nine helicopters and four cistern aircraft, along with other equipment that has been dispatched from several provinces.

Also working in the area are six air-transported fire brigades, seven ground teams, 12 pump trucks and two bulldozers, and the Military Emergencies Unit has deployed 98 personnel in the area.

Early Sunday morning, the Civil Guard began evacuating about 300 residents of the town of Palacios de Becedas after the wind revived the fire and the flames approached to within some 20 meters (yards) of the town, one of the townspeople told Efe.

This summer has been the worst ever for Spain in terms of forest fires, and so far the many blazes around the country have destroyed some 140,000 hectares (350,000 acres). EFE