AUTHORITIES in Spain’s Andalucia have now put out most of the Tarifa blaze that burnt over 50 hectares to a cinder since Wednesday.
The Forestry Fire Service reduced the alert level from one to zero on Monday as it assessed the damage to a large area of pine trees and shrubs.
The fire drove through the Sierra de San Bartolome near the popular Bolonia beach from Wednesday until firefighters managed to stop the spread of the blaze on Good Friday.
Firefighters could then concentrate on putting out the fires at its epicentre over the weekend.
Authorities have now allowed residents of the village of El Chaparral to return to their homes.
The majority of the residents of the village had spent the last few days with family and friends.
But hotels in the area accommodated 27 El Chaparral residents out of solidarity for their plight.
Authorities helped them out with blankets, washing kits and reliable information about the state of their homes.
Antonio Sanz of the Junta de Andalucia, told reporters from the firefighting command centre that the strong Levante wind had helped spread the fire.
“Despite the difficulties of the terrain and the wind, the intense work carried out by the forest firefighters have allowed the fire to be stabilized,” Sanz said.
Such was the extent of the blaze, that Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo offered to send fire engines to the scene.
“The whole of the Tarifa area is much loved by the people of Gibraltar for its beaches, its mountains and its biodiversity,” Picardo said.
“At this challenging time, Gibraltar extends its thoughts to those fighting the fire, and stands ready to support the Mayor and people of Tarifa in any way that we may be able to.”
It is one of the first of a number of fires Spanish authorities expect to tackle in coming months.
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