Spain blaze stabilises, letting 2,000 people go home
Some 2,000 people who fled their homes when a wildfire broke out two days ago in southern Spain were allowed home Friday as the blaze “stabilised”, officials said.
ome 2,000 people who fled their homes when a wildfire broke out two days ago in southern Spain were allowed home Friday as the blaze “stabilised”, officials said.
The fire in the forested mountainous area of Sierra Bermeja, just inland from Estepona, was no longer spreading freely, the Andalusian regional government said in a statement.
The region’s INFOCA forest fire authority “confirms the fire has stabilised and has authorised the return of residents who were evacuated,” it said.
“Firefighters are still working in the area, trying to bring the fire under control.”
According to INFOCA, a fire is considered under control when the entire perimeter is surrounded by a strip of land without vegetation or with already-burnt vegetation.
The fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon as the region braced for a heatwave that is set to push temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the coming days.
By Wednesday evening, three firefighters had been injured, including one who was hospitalised after suffering “25 percent burns”, officials said.
The emergency services said almost 1,000 people had been drafted in to fight the fire and ensure security in the Pujerra area, half of whom were forest firefighters.
Firefighters estimate the blaze burnt through some 3,500 hectares (8,600 acres) of forested land in a steep and mountainous area which is difficult to access.
Last September, a huge wildfire raged for seven days in the Sierra Bermeja area, killing a firefighter and forcing 2,600 people from their homes as it burned through some 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of land.