DOZENS of locals have lined the streets to cheer the firefighters who have finally extinguished the worst fire in Spanish history.

It comes as the Olive Press visited the area to get a picture of the sheer extent of damage the Sierra Bermeja fire caused.

Our reporters were left stunned at the shocking scale of damage in the valley between Estepona and Casares.

Locals in the Parque de los Pedregales area, in Casares, revealed that the fire was so bad on Sunday morning that fire crews were forced to pull out.

“There were not enough firefighters and they admitted they could not save the area,” said one British expat Susie Brown. “It was horrible. We only got out by the skin of our teeth.”

Casares Fire
Picture by The Olive Press in Parque de los Pedregales, Casares.

Fortunately, the nearby recycling plant Complejo Ambiental Costa del Sol did not set alight.

Raging since last Wednesday and claiming the life of a firefighter, the Sierra Bermeja blaze was finally officially declared under control on Tuesday morning at 6.45am.

Despite six days of non-stop hard work by up to 1,000 firefighters and 50-plus aircraft, some 9,670 hectares of forests and rolling hills have been destroyed.

Firefighting bosses at INFOCA confirmed that it was thanks to the moderate but continual rain that fell for several hours during the night that made the difference.

Casares Quemado
Picture by The Olive Press in Parque de los Pedregales, Casares.

This means that ‘level 0’ was called by mid-morning and the complex phase of the fire has come to an end.

The Junta’s Agriculture minister Carmen Crespo said the good news could be attributed partly to the rain and partly to the ‘surgical’ work of the fire brigade during the last few days.

“We had 80% of the fire stabilised, but the Casares area could not be stabilised due to strong winds, which rekindled the flames,” she said.

“After the rain fell in the early hours of this morning it has all been brought under control.”

Spanish meteorologist Juan Antonio Salado also reported the news this morning, where he alleged that the rain left puddles of up to 15 mm at various points of the fire. 

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