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Two fires meet in Sierra Bermeja creating a new front and forcing the evacuation of four more villages

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/ INFOCA

  • Residents in Alpandeire, Júzcar, Faraján and Pujerra join those of Jubrique and Genalguacil in being ordered to leave their homes as a precaution

Two fires in Sierra Bermeja, the one burning since Wednesday night and the other started last night, have met to form a new front with a "strength that is rarely seen in this country", according to the deputy director of Infoca, Alejandro García.

The flames have now extended into the Genal Valley forcing four more villages, Faraján, Pujerra, Alpandeire and Júzcar, to be evacuated.

This comes after Genalguacil and Jubrique were evacuated earlier on Sunday.

The number of people evacuated due to the fire is likely to be over 3,000 with the population of the six villages added to the 1,620 people already told to leave their homes in Estepona and Benahavís.

The fire officer explained that the four areas of activity last night (Saturday, 11 September) were going "reasonably well" and that today they hoped that they would be totally stabilised by this Sunday night, but everything changed early on Sunday morning when the new fie broke out.

This was acused by an ash cloud, which was "possible but not foreseeable", he stressed. This was released by the main fire at 2.23am and sparked a new blaze in a nearby ravine.

"During the early hours of this morning they were two idependent fires," said the Infoca officer.

This morning, however, two fronts met, "even crossing a valley that had burned in another fire just over a month ago", said García. He add that the characteristics of this fire were totally unusual and rarely seen in this country.

García said that the main risk now was in the northwest as the westerly wind could push the fire in that direction, although he stressed, "This is not a fire dominated by the wind."