A level one emergency was declared at 3.20pm on Saturday as firefighters from across Malaga province mobilised to tackle flames at the Laguna Village hotel and shopping complex in Estepona.
Around thirty homes, several restaurants and the Kempinsky hotel in the Río Padrón area had to be evacuated with the A-7 motorway also cut off in both directions. Flames and smoke were visible from as far away as Marbella.
Three helicopters, various vehicles and thirty firefighters specialised in dealing with wild fires were involved in the operation.
According to sources consulted, the flames originated in forest land north of the A-7 but strong winds in the area at the time carried them south, setting fire to one of the buildings in the Laguna Village complex, where the roofs are made of wood.
According to witnesses, the flames then carried from one building to another, helped by the wind, before reaching the Kempinski hotel.
According to the mayor of Estepona, José María García Urbano, this left the shopping centre "completely burned to the ground" but "no has one suffered injuries".
Urbano has also confirmed that the fire has been "contained", but not yet extinguished, but that those evacuated from their homes would soon be able to return with the wind helping to carry the smoke away quickly.