Planes have begun dropping water on the wildfire in Spain in an attempt to put out two raging fires which have killed four people, injured more than 100 and forced thousands of residents to stay indoors.
Air tankers are collecting water from a reservoir and using it to fight the fires which have devastated large parts of Catalonia, in the north-east of the country.
A teenage girl and her father died after they jumped into the sea from a 165ft cliff in a desperate attempt to escape the blazes.
Flames forced the French pair, three family members, and about 150 other tourists out of their vehicles as most were returning home.
The group scrambled down hillsides toward the beach in the Costa Brava town of Portbou, said Deputy Mayor Elisabet Cortaba.
The family of five got separated from the rest of the group on their way down and ended up at the cliff edge with no way out as the fire advanced, fanned by heavy winds.
‘The fire started to close in on them and they couldn’t climb up or climb down,’ the mayor said, after speaking with witnesses. ‘The only way out was to jump into the sea.’
The 60-year-old father died instantly after landing on rocks, and his 15-year-old daughter drowned, she said.
The mother was in a critical condition yesterday with a back injury, but the son and other daughter did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
Police said the blaze at Portbou was probably sparked by someone throwing a lit cigarette out of a car along a small road inundated by vehicles heading to France.
Two other people were also killed by the fires, which have burned across 35 square miles, including one man who had a heart attack tackling flames around his home in Llers.
The fires, fanned by strong winds, have caused transport chaos as they swept through parts of Catalonia, forcing the suspension of train services in Alto Ampurdan and the closure of several cross-border roads linking Barcelona with France.