A COUPLE have been arrested on suspicion of being responsible for starting a wildfire that has already destroyed 172 hectares of woodland on the outskirts of Granada.

It is thought that the pair lit a barbecue while illegally camping near El Cerro de San Miguel just stone’s throw from the historic districts of Sacromonte and the Albaicín on the hillside overlooking the Alhambra.

The fire was reported at 4.45pm on Sunday and has been burning overnight and into Monday with more than a hundred firefighters called in to battle the flames.

Six water carrying aircraft took to the skies to douse the blaze which fortunately, although in close proximity to the city, did not pose a danger to buildings as the wind was blowing flames away from the urban centre.

Infoca, the agency that deals with fire emergencies in Andalucia said the fire was finally brought under control late on Monday afternoon.

The smoke from what was one of the first wildfires of the season was visible across the city of Granada.

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