June 26, 2022

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Forest fires in southern Spain force town to evacuate;  Three hurt

Forest fires in southern Spain force town to evacuate; Three hurt

Spanish authorities said that a forest fire that broke out in the mountains of southern Spain led to the evacuation of 2,000 people from the center of the town of Benahavis, and three firefighters were injured.

The Andalusian Forest Fire Department (INFOCA) said on Twitter that the fire started on Wednesday afternoon on the slopes of Mount Bojeira in Sierra Bermeja above the Costa del Sol, which attracts British tourists on the Andalusian coast.

It said in a message late on Wednesday that hot summer weather and headwinds were fanning the fire.

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Emergency services have set up tents in a town of 7,000, but most evacuees have found shelter with relatives or in hotels.

Up to 200 firefighters from the department along with 100 military and 50 firefighters from other cities on the Costa del Sol, are battling the flames.

Surveillance planes flew over the area in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“Unfortunately, we have to report that three firefighters from INFOCA suffered various burns and one of them sustained burns of 25% of his body and was taken to Malaga hospital,” Juanma Moreno, regional president of Andalusia told reporters.

Another wildfire devastated the same mountain range in September, reducing at least 7,780 hectares (30 square miles) of forest and shrubs to ash in days. About a thousand firefighters, supported by about 50 aircraft, worked to put out the fire.

John Nazca Report; authored by Inti Landauro; Editing by Robert Percell and Bradley Perrett

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