Five people rescued by sea as wildfire burns on Nerja cliffs

The flames and a column of smoke in the Maro watchtower area.
The flames and a column of smoke in the Maro watchtower area. / EUGENIO CABEZAS
  • More than 60 firefighters were drafted in after a garden bonfire spread out of control

More than 60 forest firefighters have been working throughout the night to extinguish a wildfire that started in the Maro cliffs area of Nerja on Thursday (1 April).

The alarm was raised at around 7pm when a spectacular column of smoke could be seen from the Nerja town centre.

Local Police, Guardia Civil, regular firefighters and specialist firefighters from Infoca were quickly mobilised.

The first to arrive in the area were the Local Police and the Guardia Civil who found a woman who admitted that she had been burning some garden prunings next to her house but the flames had spread out of control.

A combination of the light westerly wind together with the dryness of the ground - due to the lack of rain - rapidly spread the flames towards the lower part of the cliff and towards the perimeter of the watchtower located just 200 metres from the building.

The 112 emergency control centre received more than sixty calls from the public alerting them to the fire.

For an hour or so - until night fell - a helicopter made several passes over the area dropping water on the flames while teams worked on the ground trying to cut off the head of the fire.

Another concern was rescuing five people, including a girl under the age of 12, who were trapped in the Carrizal cove, located below the Maro tower. Access on foot to was affected by the flames so a Guardia Civil patrol boat from Motril and a jet ski from the Nerja Civil Protection service managed to get them out to sea and transferred them, without personal injury, to the nearby Marina del Este marina.

At about 1am this Friday morning, Infoca described the fire as “active” but said the “evolution was favourable."