Nearly a thousand troops continue to fight against the fire declared in the Malaga municipality of Pujerra, in Sierra Bermeja, already affecting about 2,100 hectares, as reported by the director of the INFOCA Plan, Juan Sánchez. The flames also affect the terms of Júzcar and Benahavís, where the 2,000 evacuees have been able to return to their homes late this Thursday.
One of the three firemen forestry who were injured in extinction tasks, he is still admitted to the Burn Unit of the Regional Hospital with second-degree burns and his evolution is favourable, while the other two, slightly injured, who were evacuated to the Costa del Sol Hospital, have already been discharged .
The terral wind that this Wednesday complicated the extinction work, causing the flames to advance at 30 meters per minute, has changed to the east this noon, allowing the incorporation of air resources, which had not been able to intervene in the early hours of this Thursday due to thermal inversion, the phenomenon that causes higher temperatures at higher altitudes.
The fire was declared this Wednesday at 3:19 p.m. and affects the La Resinera area, an area inaccessible by land and with a dense grove of chestnut trees, in Sierra Bermeja, the same area that ten months ago suffered a fire that devastated more than 9,000 hectares, classified as “sixth generation“.
At 5:05 p.m. last afternoon, the acting delegate of the Junta de Andalucía in Málaga, Carmen Casero, activated level 1 of the Emergency Plan for Forest Fires, which was raised to level 2 at 8:05 p.m. , hence mobilized to the Military Emergency Unit (UME).
The director of Infoca de Andalucía, Juan Sánchez, explained, in statements to the press, when asked about the similarities with the serious fire last year in the same area, that the memory “is inevitable” but that the situation is “different“because despite having occurred “in the same bad orography”, the mountain is “in another situation”.
Deploy by land and air to control the flames
The Minister of Agriculture of the Junta de Andalucía, Carmen Crespo, interviewed on TVE’s La Hora de La 1, has estimated 946 troops working this morning of Infoca, forest firefighters, Emergencies 112 and the UME, to which he has asked for great caution since the fire area is “complicated”, very steep and with an abundance of Aleppo pine.
A helicopter had to access a fire area to bring two brigades, about 36 firefighters, who have been prevented from advancing by the flamesso they have been transferred to the advanced command post, reports Renata Rota on TVE from the area of the fire.
As the thermal inversion has dissipated, as reported by INFOCA, a total of 15 aerial means are deployed that focus their work on the flanks that presented more difficulty last night and on consolidating the southern zone, to prevent a possible progress of the fire towards the urban core.
“In #IFPujerra the aerialists, 15 at the moment, continue to carry out their work on the North and Eco flanks, areas that presented more difficulties tonight. In addition, work is being done to consolidate the southern zone, to prevent a possible progress of the #IIFF towards the urban core pic.twitter.com/QjSEpiRI6S“
— INFOCA (@Plan_INFOCA) June 9, 2022
In the early hours of the fire, this Wednesday, they were able to work up to 17 aerial means. Specifically, Infoca deployed six transport and extinction helicopters, two Super Puma helicopters, two Kamov helicopters, two cargo planes on the ground, two amphibians from the Ministry and a coordination plane.
The 2,000 evicted people return to their homes
Due to the proximity of the fire it had been necessary preventively evacuate the urban area of Benahavís (Malaga); the urbanizations of Montemayor, Benahavís Hill and Marbella Club, but late this Thursday they have been able to return to their homes.
According to the mayor of Benahavís, José Antonio Mena, they have been between 2,500 and 3,000 residents who have had to leave their homes for nearly 24 hours.
The president of the Board, Juanma Moreno, hopes that the fire can be controlled soon if the “positive” forecast is met and the weather conditions are “optimal”, with a cooler easterly wind that pushes the flames to the Sierra Bermeja area burned last year.
The Minister for Territorial Policy and Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, has been at the Advanced Command Post, where she has sent a message of “tranquility” to the evictedhas expressed its appreciation “to the sensitivity of the neighbours” and to the workers who are working, especially those who were injured and has stressed that the administrations work “in a coordinated and collaborative manner”.
Ezequiel Buscagin, one of the evicted who is in the San Pedro de Alcántara pavilion, has told TVE that it has been “a night to forget, a horrible night”, and that it was the Civil Guard who warned them that they should evacuate the houses. That moment, as he has assured, was “distressing”, because he had to go out practically “with his clothes on” and only had time to catch his dog.
Half a hundred horses from the Benahavís racetrack have also been evacuated from the area and the A-7175 road remains cut off due to smoke and to facilitate the work of the emergency services.
In addition, as detailed by the Benahavís City Council on social networks, the Board has given instructions to not open the Daidín school this Thursday. Thus, classes this Thursday are suspended and until further notice.