An aerial view of part of the area affected by the fire. / PLAN INFOCA

Maro wildfire finally extinguished after devastating 15 hectares

The initial estimates put the cost of the blaze, that broke out on Sunday morning, at around 300,000 euros

Eugenio Cabezas

The Junta’s specialist wildfire-fighting brigade, Infoca, declared the Maro wildfire fully extinguished at 7pm on Monday, 29 November, after sweeping through 15 hectares of mainly agricultural land after it was sparked on Sunday morning.

During Monday people who rented agricultural land from the Sociedad Azucarera, visited the area to find out the scale of the environmental disaster, which also spread to the Maro-Cerro Gordo cliffs natural park area and the beach.

The first assessment of the fire damage amounts to more 300,000 euros after the flames swept through numerous leased agricultural plots and scorching six rural houses and 14 plastic greenhouses (almost half of them totally destroyed). Around 100 local residents and businesses, mainly from Maro, but some, also, from Nerja have suffered financial losses.

Manager of the Coamar agricultural cooperative, José Moreno, was one of those who lost a complete greenhouse. "It is going to cost 6,000 euros to replace the plastic alone, and the beans that were ready to be harvested may be worth another 4,000 or 5,000 euros," explained Moreno.

"The fire had many sources, it advanced very quickly, and not all farms have been equally affected. "There are those who have completely lost their avocado harvest and those who have only lost a part," he specified. The subtropical fruits were ready to start being harvested from December.

Complete disaster

"The damage is enormous, because it is not only what is lost now, but what it will take for the trees to recover, if they do, because there will be many that will have to be dug up and replaced,” said the manager of Coamar, which brings together fifty partners and had a turnover of one million euros last year.

The fire also entered the natural park setting of the Maro-Cerro Gordo cliffs. On Maro beach, it destroyed a kayak rental business, with the loss of about 90 craft. "It has been a complete disaster, we have been left with absolutely nothing. To replace everything will cost about 60,000 euros," said Ettore Russi, one of the partners of the company.

The state of Kayaks Maro, owned by Ettore Russi and Guillermo Som. / SUR