A GARDENER burning rubbish is suspected of starting the fires which destroyed over 200 homes on the Costa del Sol, according to the mayor of Mijas.
Angel Nozal told the Olive Press that police are investigating reports that a small garden bonfire got out of control and rapidly spread to nearby scrubland.
They are also looking into reports of four people seen leaving the area in a Land Rover at the time the fires started.
“Apparently four people were seen leaving the area in a Land Rover at the same time but I don’t personally believe they are responsible,” Nozal insisted on Friday. “My understanding is that it was someone burning garden rubbish.”
By complete coincidence he had spotted the fire on his way home from work as it started at 6.30pm on August 30 and raced up to the Barranco Blanco area of Coin to help to coordinate the battle to put it out.
The PP mayor was in the area by 6.45pm and worked with his counterparts from Coin and Alhaurin to structure a plan.
He revealed that the conditions were ´perfect´for the starting of a fire.
“It was 30/30/30 as we call it… 30 per cent humidity, 30 degrees and 30 kph of wind…. a recipe for disaster and people should have been far more careful.
“Regardless of who started it, there are so many people who lack common sense it is incredible.”
The area of Barranco Blanco, on the border with Mijas, has long been a popular with German expats. It was here that nazis fleeing Germany in the 1930s and 1940s were allegedly said to have settled in a secretive-style development.
Nozal however, was quick to insist that police had not yet confirmed whether it was a Spaniard or foreign national to blame.
“The Guardia Civil are conducting this in complete secrecy and it is hard to get much from them,” he added.