The fire came very close to the houses on the Polarsol estate in Mijas Costa. :: SUR
The fire which broke out on Sunday afternoon between the residential areas of El Chaparral and Polarsol in Mijas Costa, was put out and now attention turns to the investigation into its cause.
The mayor of Mijas, Ángel Nozal, said on Monday that the theory that the fire was started in order to attempt to break into and steal from evacuated homes, is gaining ground.
The fire occurred in a zone which has one of the largest timeshare resorts on the Costa del Sol, as well as many more properties used as second or holiday homes. The mayor pointed out that the management of the Club La Costa, located right at the heart of the incident, had informed him that three days earlier an attempted robbery had taken place on its grounds when another small fire had broken out.
“The workers and security staff of the club were busy putting out the flames while various delinquents took advantage of this to attempt to steal from a number of properties,” said the mayor, who went on to say that “the fire was in two distinct and distant zones - one in El Chaparral and the other near Malibú - which can only be explained by a man-made action since the area is not densely covered in pine trees or the type of inflammable undergrowth that leads to this sort of situation.”
With respect to the size of the area affected by Sunday’s fire, Mijas town hall has calculated that it is around ten hectares. Much of it was in the urbanised areas beside the former N-340 coast road. A small part of the fire burned an area of pine trees which had been planted to create a green lung between residential areas.
Mijas council thanked the speedy and efficient work of the emergency services which put out the fire in two and half hours. Around 75 properties were evacuated but their owners were able to return at 8pm.
Lack of fire prevention plans
The recent fires have brought to light the fact that half of all the residential developments on Malaga’s coastline lack fire prevention plans, even though it is an obligation in Andalusian law to have one.
Fifty per cent of the various residential zones of Mijas, one of the areas which suffers most from forest fires, remains without planned procedures. Marbella has a pioneering scheme, Estepona has 200 different plans being processed and there are initiatives in place in most of Cómpeta, Nerja, Torrox and Frigiliana.