Guardia Civil officers watch the evolution of the fire in the Sierra Bermeja. / JOSELE

Fourth person arrested in connection with the latest Sierra Bermeja forest fire

It is believed that the blaze was started accidentally during maintenance work at the 6,500-hectare La Resinera private estate, that belongs to the Libyan Foreign Bank

IGNACIO LILLO

The Guardia Civil have arrested and questioned another person in connection with the latest fire that is still burning in Malaga’s Sierra Bermeja. The latest arrest was confirmed today, 15 June, by the sub-delegate of the Government, Javier Salas, and brings the total of those being investigated for an alleged crime of gross negligence to four.

Salas highlighted the investigation work of the Guardia Civil’s Seprona nature protection service and the Junta de Andalucía’s Forest Fire Investigation Brigade of the second blaze in the Sierra Bermeja area in a short amount of time, and which is currently stabilised but has not yet been controlled.

According to the subdelegate, those being investigated were allegedly carrying out some works in the mountains with heavy machinery, for which they did not have permission, and it is believed that these works were the origin of the fire.

Libyan Foreign Bank

Now it will be the judicial investigation that determines if this accident was caused by recklessness on the La Resinera estate , a 6,500-hectare private property that belongs to the Libyan Foreign Bank (Forebank), a public bank in the North African country.

On the day the fire started, on 8 June, there were gusts of wind exceeding 40 kilometres per hour and air temperatures of up to 37 degrees. Sources indicate that work was being carried out on a road with a machine that, by moving the rocks, could have caused a spark to fly that started the fire.

Three firefighters injured

At its height the fire forced the evacuation of the urban area of ​​Benahavís and some residential developments in Estepona. Three members of the Junta’s Plan Infoca specialist forest fire brigade were injured fighting the flames. Two of them were discharged after a few hours, while the third suffered burns that affected 10% of his body.