Arson hunt: forest fire under control in southern Spain

The flames that had been blazing since last Wednesday destroyed around 9,700 hectares of forest at the foot of the Sierra Bermeja not far from the coastal community of Estepona, said the interior minister of the Andalusia region, Elías Bendodo, to journalists on Tuesday. That corresponds to the area of ​​a good 13,000 football fields. The approximately 2,700 residents of eight evacuated villages and residential complexes are now about to return to their homes, said the politician. The authorities are now convinced that the forest fire was the work of arsonists.

Hundreds of members of the fire brigade, civil defense and the UME military emergency aid unit said goodbye to residents of the affected areas about 80 kilometers southwest of Malaga on Tuesday with enthusiastic applause and cheers, as the news agency “Europa Press” reported. At times, the flames had been fought by around 1,000 emergency services, who were supported by more than 50 helicopters and fire-fighting aircraft, among other things. According to the authorities, the rain that fell in the province of Málaga since Monday evening and on Tuesday was also important for the success in the fight against the flames.