Wildfires that have been ravaging the Spanish Costa del Sol are now threatening the popular tourist resort of Marbella.
The blaze began on Thursday afternoon at Coin, near the tourist destination of Malaga, but soon spread to threaten other towns along the holiday coastline. Evacuations have been widespread, with 3,300 people fleeing the town of Ojen alone. Malaga is the latest town to issue evacuation advice, with holidaymakers prepared to leave villas and hotels at the resort’s busiest time of the year.
These mainland wildfires come in the wake of previous fires on the Spanish-owned Canary Islands of La Gomera and Tenerife, and others near the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain’s northern province of Catalonia. An exceptionally dry and hot summer that has left foliage tinder dry is being blamed for the spate of blazes in the country.
Hundreds of fire fighters have been called into the area and reports also suggest that 17 fire-fighting aircraft are being used to tackle the blaze. However, wind direction is likely to be the biggest contributor in the on-going battle, with the hopes that a sudden change could divert the flames in a less critical direction.
According to Spanish authorities, two people have suffered serious burns, and there has been significant damage to property in the area.
Figures are not yet available on how many British holidaymakers are in the area, but as it is a long time favourite with holidaymakers from the UK, and as this is a peak holiday time, numbers are likely to be considerable. The Costa del Sol is also home to a sizeable community of British ex-pats.