UP to 100 people have been evacuated from Pujerra and nearby Benahavis as a forest fire takes a grip on the Costa del Sol.

The residents have been moved to safety as the blaze spreads at dangerous speeds.

So far over 60 residents of Montemayor urbanisation in Benahavis have had to leave their homes to avoid any risk.

Dozens more are set to be moved from Marbella Club Golf Resort hills, according to an expat councillor in the town.

The Benahavis sports centre has been set up as a temporary shelter.

Councillor, Scott Marshall claimed: “It’s awful, everyone is out fighting this fire, but with winds of 40km per hour, it’s really hard work.”

“We have already evacuated at least 60 people from the Montemayor area but may have to also move those from Marbella club hills soon,” he added.

Currently, 17 helicopters and 140 people are working to put out the fire.

However, Spain’s official fire fighting body Infoca insisting on Wednesday evening that the location of the fire made it very difficult to tackle because only helicopters are able to access it easily.

Photo 2022 06 08 18 30 37
Hundreds face evacuation as Costa del Sol fire starts to take hold in nightmare 40kph winds. Image from: The Olive Press.

The Junta activated level 1 of the Forest Fire Emergency Plan at 5:05 pm.

Junta minister Elias Bendodo, explained: “The wind in addition to the complicated location means that the forecast at this time is not good.”

The fire is close to the same stretch of land affected by the 2021 Sierra Bermeja fire, which spanned seven municipalities: Genalguacil, Jubrique, Faraján, Juzcar, Pujerra, Benahavís and Casares.

It blazed out of control for five days and still took 46 days to completely extinguish.

Described as Europe’s first ‘fifth generation fire’, it was caused after an arsonist laid three seats of fire at three points near the top of the Sierra Bermeja above Estepona.

Speculation was again mounting on Wednesday evening that the fire was caused by an arsonist.

“It looks extremely possible,” explained Marshall.

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