A SWEDISH woman has been arrested for the devastating wildfire that swept across the cliffs of Maro (Nerja) last week.

The 51-year-old admitted to the authorities that she started the fire after burning prunings on her rural plot close to her home on the cliff side.

She also admitted to starting the fire without the proper safety measures in place, causing the fire to become out of control and take hold.

The Junta’s fire prevention service, INFOCA, states that any fire in rural areas must have adequate water on standby, and must be started with regards to wind and weather conditions.

The fire began to escalate at around 7.35pm last Thursday and emergency services received more than 60 calls that smoke could be seen coming from an isolated area close to the Torre de Maro.

At the height of the blaze, 42 firefighters were on hand to try to bring the fire under control including helicopters and ground crew.

Five homes also had to be evacuated, including one family and their dog that were cut off by the flames and had to be rescued by Guardia Civil boat to safety.

The fire was eventually brought under control at around 10.00pm and firefighters were instructed to stand down, leaving environmentalists to survey the damage caused by the blaze.

According to estimates, approximately 10,000 square metres of protected countryside was destroyed, a fact that has angered environment group GENA, who pointed out that the area is home to hundreds protected and unique species of flora and fauna.

“We are shocked and appalled at the irresponsibility of the actions of this individual in such a delicate and beautiful area.” said a spokesman from the organisation.

“We are still assessing the damage to understand if there has been any specific casualties of the fire, but what is clear is that many species of flowers and shrubs have been burnt to the ground.”

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