9 Sep, 2012 @ 09:45
1 min read

Careless gardener suspected of causing Costa del Sol fire

Mijas fire

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.

James Bryce

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  1. “The PP mayor was in the area by 6.45pm and worked with his counterparts from Coin and Alhaurin to structure a plan.”

    Hard to believe they didn’t already have a plan in place to deal with this sort of catastrophe and all they had to do was implement it. Wait a minute, no it isn’t.

  2. Fred,
    your post would be laughable – if it was’nt Spain. The whole of the Med coast and that includes the hinterland and Extramadura are one big fire risk – go and take a look at the burnt out forests behind Valencia.

  3. Send the GARDENER THE Factura for ALL the costs – he’ll pay it from his Swiss acount… or the Caymans… or Lichtenstein,
    et all. If he cannot pay – put him in Gaol for 20 years.

  4. Dan,
    Yes.. you could be right. You have to watch out for those uphill gardeners. I’ve never trusted them. They are normally linked to a “burning ring of fire” and so therefore I will personally not allow them coming anywhere near to Mijas.

  5. For Fred and Stuart,

    Authorities, Firefighters and Pilots brake their a*se off to putt down a fire of epic proportion, still to see this kind of quick reaction in any other modern country. They saved many people s home and the beautiful Juanar Natural forest,
    So take your attitude somewhere else, wherever you got that bullsh*t, that it is clasify as low risk area, is just that bullsh*t, you probably lying.

  6. @Admiral Lezo,

    I forgot to mention my source. The Sur in English (current edition, 7th-13th September 2012), page 16. Headline: “Malaga Plan did not highlight the fire area as high risk”.

    I quote:

    “Two days before the recent Costa Del Sol forest fire started the Malaga Provincial government published a map of of the province showing the assessed fire risk for the area covered by the blaze as either LOW risk or NO risk”.

    The Mijas, Ojen, Marbella and Coin areas were all given the low risk or no risk status. There have been massive cutbacks in fire control and prevention teams, and this doubtless contributed to the problem too. The original fire was not properly detected or reported for some 30-40 minutes it was mentioned.

    We’ll take your apology now please, Admiral. Forest fires are serious things and I have personally battled two this year in my own area.

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