THIS Thursday, September 8, marks one year since the start of the worst fire registered in Spain in 2021— the Sierra Bermeja forest fire.

A devastating fire that raged through one of the most important natural jewels in the province of Malaga for six days until it was brought under control.

The extinguishing work went on for a month and a half, 46 days without a break until October 24, claiming the life of firefighter Carlos Martinez Haro in the process.

Despite the tireless work of nearly 6,000 troops and more than 200 aerial resources, the flames spread rapidly, affecting a total of 8,401 hectares in seven municipalities in Malaga: Estepona, Casares, Jubrique, Genalguacil, Juzcar, Farajan and Benahavis, and forcing the eviction of 2,670 people.

The fire destroyed a natural site of incalculable environmental value and also burnt part of the Spanish fir forest, which is of great ecological value and unique in the world.

One year after the fateful fire, the forest continues its natural evolution, although experts predict that it will take about 20 years to return to what it was.

In the affected municipalities, life has continued with a certain degree of normality. And the administrations are working on emergency measures to recover the area.

The work basically consists of clearing roads and paths to ensure safe transit, cutting down burnt trees and building hydraulic structures to prevent erosion: ricks (on the slopes) and overlapping stone walls without mortar (in the riverbeds).

These structures help to curb the devastating consequences of torrential rains, such as those that occurred in this area in March.


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