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Albania fights wildfire, arrests arson suspect

Wildfires in Albania

KURBIN, Albania (Reuters) - Albania is fighting a large wildfire near the western town of Lac, the army and firefighters trying to keep away the flames threatening houses, the interior minister said on Tuesday.

Police showed video of a man being arrested and Interior Minister Taulant Balla said he was suspected of arson.

"The fire has reached a massive area of pine trees near the town of Lac and this is one of the worst wildfires this year," Balla said in a post on his Facebook page.

Local media showed video of an army helicopter pouring water in the area as a flames could be seen close to houses.

Defence Minister Niko Peleshi said 50 soldiers were deployed but stopping the fire remains a challenge because of the difficult terrain.

In another video from the southern town of Berat, police showed security camera footage of two men starting a fire. They were identified and arrested.

Just in July Albania has identified and charged 14 people with starting wildfires which is punishable with up to 15 years jail time.

Wildfires are also raging in Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal, as the region suffered hot, dry and windy conditions that scientists have linked to climate change.

(Reporting by Florion Goga, writing by Fatos Bytyci; editing by Grant McCool)