MORE than 100 firefighters have worked through the night as the battle to extinguish a blaze that has burned 3,500 hectares in Southern Spain continues into a fourth day.
Although the wildfire was declared ‘under control’ on Friday, it is still smouldering and emergency services are trying to contain the fire before expected strong breezes fan a flare-up.
Work is focused on eliminating hotspots.
The fire started in Pujerra and spread into the municipalities of Juzcar and Benahavis inland of Spain’s Costa del Sol.
The 100 firefighters are backed by three helicopters and 12 fire engines.
The fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon in the area of La Resinera. The 112 telephone received the first of more than 30 calls at 3.04pm. By 5.05pm the blaze was so severe that Level 1 of the Emergency Plan for Forest Fires was declared. This was soon upgraded to Level 2 which allowed the support of the Military Emergency Unit (UME).
At its height, the fire was being tackled by nearly 1,000 forest firefighters and military personnel.
Three forest firefighters were injured with burns of varying degrees, two of them were discharged from hospital after treatment, with a third being kept in. His condition is described as ‘evolving favourably’.
Some 2,000 people were evacuated from Benahavis town and the urbanisations of Montemayor, Marbella Club, Benahav’s Hills and Velerín Alto.
Last year another fire destroyed 8,600 hectares of protected forest in the same hills and was not put out for 46 days.
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