More than 3,000 people were brought to safety in Spain on Thursday night because of a forest fire in the tourist stronghold of the Costa del Sol. The flames that broke out on Wednesday afternoon for reasons that are still unknown primarily threatened the 8,000-inhabitant community of Benahavis and the 300-inhabitant village of Pujerra around a hundred kilometers west of Málaga in southern Spain on Thursday, as the state television broadcaster RTVE, citing regional politicians and Fire department spokesman reported.
Three firefighters were injured. It was initially not known whether tourists were affected by the evacuations.
The heat of more than 30 degrees, the drought and strong winds continued to make extinguishing work in the difficult-to-access area difficult on Thursday, it said. However, an improvement in the situation with weaker winds is expected in the course of the day.
Around 500 members of the fire brigade, civil defense and the military emergency aid unit UME were deployed, as the emergency service of the Andalusia region announced on Twitter. According to official information, buildings were not initially affected.
The affected area on the Sierra Bermeja mountain range was devastated by a six-day forest fire last September. At that time, more than 9000 hectares of forest were destroyed. This corresponds to the area of around 13,000 football pitches. Authorities were convinced at the time that the fire was the work of arsonists. However, the perpetrators could not be identified.