Foreign residents were among the five families who had to be evacuated from their houses on Sunday 6 October, after fire broke out in the Barranco de la Golondrina area, which is shared between Almuñécar and Ítrabo in Granada province.
The fire was first spotted at around 12.30pm and spread rapidly, burning around 30 acres of subtropical fruit and almond plantations, as well as a caravan, workshop and warehouse.
Emergency services received 50 phone calls from concerned residents and drivers, who could see the smoke from the Tamaray tunnel area of the A-7 motorway. Police and fire fighters responded to the calls and planes and helicopters were also deployed to put out the fire.
One home owner, Mercedes Puertas, told Granada newspaper, Ideal, "The neighbour phoned to tell me at 10am. The fire was far away and I didn't worry about it too much. A few hours later our houses were surrounded by flames." Puertas added, "my children and I went out to dampen down our land and then the fire fighters arrived to evacuate us."
The home owners were allowed back to their properties at 6pm, accompanied by police.
Mayor of Ítrabo, Antonio Jesús Carrascosa, said, "Thanks to the quick response from emergency services the fire caused only material damage." It is as yet unknown how the fire started, although residents say a lack of rain meant that the area was "very dry."