A wildfire which broke out earlier this week in Estepona, a region to the west of Malaga, Spain, has finally been brought under control, according to a report today by El Mundo.
The fire broke out shortly after 2pm on Wednesday and had been raised to Level 2 which allows the Municipality to request help from the state in order to contain the blaze. The army were called in to assist, in conjunction with 200 people from the UME, (the Emergency Military Unit,) who also took part in the fight against the blaze, supported by 4 amphibious planes, 4 earth carrying planes, 6 transport and fire-fighting helicopters and another four large capacity helicopters. There were ten fire tenders on the ground. The whole operation was coordinated by three more patrol and coordination planes.
The fight was finally brought under control at 6.30 PM on Thursday evening, after burning for over 28 hours.
It is thought that between 500 and 600 hectares of scrub and trees have been affected. The fire also affected the La Acedía area in Casares and, although some homes were under threat, no evacuation was needed.
According to Estepona Town Hall, the fire was started intentionally, and a spokesperson for the INFOCA fire fighters said they remained at the scene to complete the dampening down process, in case the fire restarted.
It has been the largest fire of the summer in Málaga province, and although no arrests have yet been made, a court in Estepona has already opened proceedings.
The incident follows a difficult week for the regional Fire Service following a recent order by the Estepona Town Hall insisting that all fire fighters need to be contactable 24 hours a day, due to the predicted high risk of fires. The main switchboard at the fire station subsequently broke down and all emergency incoming calls were diverted to one single mobile phone held by the Duty Chief of Fire.