Since Wednesday, firefighters have been fighting a huge forest fire in the province of Malaga. On Sunday, the fire increased in intensity once again. Now even the military has to help. “There hasn’t been a forest fire like this in Andalusia or probably in Spain for years,” said Andalusian regional president Juanma Moreno. Already 6000 hectares of land are said to have fallen victim to the flames that have been raging since Wednesday, and no success of the fire-fighting efforts is in sight any time soon. According to the authorities, the fire in the Sierra Bermeja mountains increased in intensity once again.
“We are talking about a fire of unusual power and strength compared to the fires we are used to,” fire service spokesman Alejandro Garcia told a press conference. The mountainous terrain, heat, drought and constantly shifting winds hampered the firefighting efforts, which killed a 44-year-old firefighter on Thursday.
Víctor Resco, a professor of forestry engineering at the University of Lleida, said that the fire cloud was like a storm. It could form new fire fronts through electrical discharges. Such a forest fire is “impossible to fight”. So far, around 600 emergency personnel have been deployed with the support of fire-fighting aircraft and helicopters, and 2000 people have had to leave their homes.
Due to the complicated situation, the Military Emergency Unit UME has been supporting the fire brigade and the Civil Defence in the extinguishing work and the evacuation of further villages since Sunday. Due to the dense smoke, the AP7 motorway, which is often used by tourists in the summer, had to be closed again and again in the past few days. The cause of the forest fire is still unclear.