The area that was most affected by the fire which started in Pujerra on 8 June and spread through the Sierra Bermeja has been classified as a disaster zone, or, to give it its official title, an Area Seriously Affected by Civil Protection Emergencies.
The fire began on 8 June and was not completely extinguished until Sunday 26th. At least 4,860 hectares of land in seven municipalities (Benahavís, Estepona, Faraján, Igualeja, Jubrique, Júzcar y Pujerra) were burned.
Initial hypotheses pointed to the blaze being caused by workers using machinery on a country estate. Four people have been questioned and are under investigation.
For an area to be classified as a disaster zone, there must be personal or material damage from an incident which seriously disrupts the living conditions of the population of a determined geographical area or when some or all essential public services come to a halt as a consequence of the same.
For these cases, the government considers compensation for destruction or damage to a residence, industrial, commercial, or service establishments, as well as tax benefits.