A forest fire which began yesterday afternoon in Mijas has now become the worst fire that the province of Malaga has experienced this summer. So far approximately 100 hectares of vegetation have been destroyed although some estimates go as high as 200 hectares and the fire which is still burning out of control has led to 300 people being evacuated from their homes. The AP-7 motorway which passes Mijas has been cut off due to the proximity of the fire to the road. Although it has not been confirmed yet sources close to the town hall suggest that the fire could have been started deliberately. The fire was first detected at 20.30 yesterday evening in an area known as ‘Fuente de la Teja’. Once the fire brigade had been alerted fire fighters were sent immediately to the affected area. However despite the rapid response the fire spread quickly to other areas due to strong winds people were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure. So far around a dozen homes and one school have been affected by the fire.
Although accommodation and food is being supplied by the municipal authorities many of those forced to leave their homes have preferred to stay with friends and relatives. In La Mairena situated between Mijas, Marbella and Ojén, four homes were burnt to the ground. The authorities have also provided stables in the racecourse to house horses which were also evacuated from the area affected by the fire. The fire has spread quickly partly because of the wind but also because Malaga has experienced a particularly dry summer this year. Around 300 people are involved in trying to extinguish the fire. Fire fighters from Mijas have been joined by fire fighters from Fuengirola, Coín, Vélez, Torremolinos, Marbella and Alhaurín and fire engines from Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada and Sevilla have been sent to the area. This morning it is expected that planes will be used to drop water on areas affected by the fire which cannot be reached by fire fighters on the ground. Although it was hoped that the fire was under control strong winds during the early hours of this morning have reactivated the fire which is now it is heading towards Calahonda, in Mijas, and Las Chapas, in Marbella.