Firefighters battle huge blaze near Marbella in southern Spain

Firefighters battle huge blaze near Marbella
Firefighters battle huge blaze near Marbella

Spanish firefighters are battling a huge wildfire raging near the wealthy resort of Marbella on the country’s Costa del Sol.

At least one person has died and thousands more have been evacuated.The body of an elderly man was found near Ojen. Rescue workers are searching for his wife.Evacuations were ordered from near Marbella, Ojen and a camp site at Alpujata, with some 300 British expats among the evacuees.The British Consulate in Malaga said they had all now left the evacuation centre and were staying with friends or had returned to their homes.

Marbella is famous for its up-market hotels and villas and is a favourite haunt of wealthy foreigners.Hundreds of firefighters, backed up by emergency military personnel and 31 planes and helicopters, continue to battle a huge blaze that is being fanned by hot, dry winds.According to the AFP news agency, a 12km (seven mile) line of fire has spread across the high tree tops in the Sierra Negra mountains.

In addition to the dead man, who was found near his home, five people have been treated for injuries, some of them serious.A 40-year-old woman and her two children tried to escape the fire by hiding in caves in Ojen, a town in the mountains behind Marbella. They were rescued and taken to hospital where they received treatment for minor injuries.Angel Nozal, the mayor of Mijas, a town between Marbella and Malaga, told El Pais newspaper: “The fire is horrific, with flames 10 to 15 metres high.”The Costa del Sol is one of Spain’s most popular holiday destinations and home to a large British expatriate community.The British embassy said it was working closely with the Spanish authorities and consular staff were deployed to assist those affected. – BBC