1 Sep 2012

Wildfire raging in Spain 'mostly halted'

9:36 pm on 1 September 2012

The advance of huge wildfires that have destroyed properties on Spain's Costa del Sol has been mostly halted, though pockets remain, officials say.

Some of the thousands of people who had fled their homes have now been able to return, although others spent the night in emergency evacuation centres or with relatives.

A 78-year-old man, thought to be British, was found dead and five others were hurt, two seriously, in the fires.

The authorities say the cause of the fires will be investigated, and are not ruling out that they could have been started deliberately.

Hundreds of firefighters, backed up by emergency military personnel and 31 planes and helicopters, continue to battle a huge blaze near Marbella, famous for its up-market hotels and villas and a favourite haunt of wealthy foreigners.

Spanish media reported that the fires had been brought under control, but fire service officials told the BBC that some pockets were still causing problems.


Spanish firefighters are battling a 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 since the inferno broke out on Thursday afternoon, the BBC reports.

The body of an elderly man was found near the town of Ojen and rescue workers are searching for his wife.

Hundreds of firefighters, backed up by emergency military personnel and 31 planes and helicopters battled the blaze that was being fanned by hot, dry winds.

Much of Spain's countryside was left tinder-dry this summer by a prolonged heatwave. There have been major wildfires in northern Catalonia near the Pyrenees and in the Canary Islands.

Evacuations were ordered from near Marbella, Ojen and a camp site at Alpujata.

The AFP news agency reports a 12km line of fire spread across the high tree tops in the Sierra Negra mountains.