18 Sep, 2021 @ 12:00
1 min read

‘The bravest of knights’: Hero firefighter who died battling Spain’s devastating Sierra Bermeja forest fire to be awarded Civil Merit

Carlos Martinez Haro

THE firefighter who tragically died while fighting the ferocious Sierra Bermeja forest fire is set to be awarded a Civil Merit for his bravery.

The president of the Junta de Andalucia, Juanma Moreno, revealed that the regional government has asked that Carlos Martinez Haro, aged 44, is awarded the prestigious medal posthumously.

The firefighter sadly lost his life after being brought in from Almeria to join the 1,000 strong team whose mission was to battle the devastating blaze.

Carlos Martinez Haro
Carlos was brought in from Almeria to battle the blaze. Credit INFOCA

A father of two young girls, aged six and nine, Carlos was a seasoned firefighter, previously participating in at least six campaigns with the Andalucian forest fire extinguishing team (INFOCA).

His death rocked his small hometown of Las Tres Villas which has a mere population of just over 500 people and where three days of mourning were declared for the much loved and respected family man.

On the news of his passing, mayor Virtudes Perez said ‘all those in the community were deeply affected by his death’ and that the flags would be flown at half mast on all of its municipal offices.

Perez remarked that Carlos’ family ‘was very well known in the area’ and ‘are extremely good people’.

He recalled how the father would spend his summers in the streets of the town and had an especially close relationship to councillors.

“It was not his turn at 44-years-old, being so very young, with two young daughters and fighting a fire that was supposedly intentional,” said Perez.

Meanwhile, INFOCA has made an emotional tribute to the firefighter with the release of a video for his children described as ‘a beautiful story dedicated to two beautiful princesses’.

The story begins with a ‘beautiful forest threatened by a terrible dragon’, which was battled ‘face-to-face by the bravest of knights’.

It continues that in the immensity of the fire, ‘the firefighter encountered a dragon that after seeing his nobility and goodness, wanted kill him to turn the forest into a kingdom of shadows’.


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