Estepona Wildfire Continues Raging

The wildfire that broke out in the Sierra Bermeja, in Málaga province, last Wednesday, has continued to rage causing widespread damage, though firefighters are optimistic the worse is behind them.

So far the fire has razed at over  7,000 hectares ( 18,000 acres) of forested land, forced the evacuation of 3,000 people from six towns and claimed the life of a 44 year-old firefighter.

Andalusia’s regional forest fire agency said hundreds of firefighters were tackling the blaze and that military units are now supporting the operation to bring the fire under control.

Canadair CL-415 “Superscoopper” photo: John James Wood

In addition some 51 aircraft are now battling a blaze whose perimeter doubled in length to 85 kilometers on Sunday alone.

High winds are being blamed for the surge which had been expected to die down over the weekend.

Huge plumes of smoke rising above the mountains can be seen from miles away. Firefighters have been desperately clearing the dry wood and making fire breaks to contain the blaze.

Most of the evacuees, including many elderly residents are being sheltered in sports facilities in the nearby town of Ronda, with local volunteers helping emergency and medical personel.

Juan Sánchez, the director of the regional fire service, described it as the “most complex” fire seen there in recent times.

He said there had been ongoing discussions about the consequences of climate change, adding: “Today we are living them.”

According to Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition, over 75,000 hectares of forest and bush areas have been burned in the first eight months of this year.