Helicopters tackle the forest fire in the Sierra de Mijas / ÑITO SALAS

Almost 2,000 hectares already affected as Alhaurín el Grande fire continues to burn

On Saturday the wind reactivated the west flank, forcing the evacuation of more homes. Plan Infoca troops continue to work tirelessly in four sectors of the Sierra de Mijas mountains

IRENE QUIRANTE

The fire in the Sierra de Mijas has not given respite despite the efforts of some 400 personnel who joined the efforts on Saturday, 16 July, to fight the forest that broke out at noon on Friday.

Gusts of wind from the east reactivated the west flank, which caused the fire to move towards the La Mota area, in Alhaurín el Grande. The Plan Infoca operation, which is made up of more than 400 people, has begun to carry out containment work with a direct attack on the flames, with the support of aircraft, in difficult visibility conditions.

The total number of people who have had to leave their homes since the fire broke out now amounts to 3,065, although some 300 residents of Lauro Golf have already been authorised to relocate to their homes. On the other hand, during these last few hours, the preventive evacuation of homes in the Pescadores area, the El Chorro area from the A-404 towards Mijas and Alhaurín Golf has been carried out.

The town has made the El Limón sports hall available to evacuated residents. Since the fire was declared, most of the evacuations have been in Alhaurín El Grande, affecting some 2,000 people with homes in the areas of Ardalejo, Buenavista, San Jorge, La Chicharra and Doña Paca (upper part). In the case of Alhaurín de la Torre there are about 1,065 affected residents in Jarapalos, Comendador Alto, Lauro Golf and Pinos de Alhaurín.

The fire has also forced the closure of the A-404 road from km 9 to 18 in both directions at Alhaurín el Grande, which remains closed to traffic; and the A-387 in Mijas and the A-484 between kilometers 9 and 18.

Heavy machinery

The Plan Infoca work at dawn this Saturday morning focussed on the use of technical fires and heavy machinery to protect the Pinos de Alhaurín residential area, something they have achieved according to the Infoca account on Twitter.

The weather conditions of the night did not help as expected due to the low relative humidity, which was barely noticeable, although at least the wind speed decreased, which helped. The deputy director of the Infoca Provincial Operational Centre, Alejandro Molina, explained that during the early hours of the morning more than 200 firefighters focused on four sectors, but without the support of aircraft during the hours of darkness.

The sector that caused the most concern, as it presented the greatest activity, was the one closest to Alhaurín de la Torre, an area with a high density of vegetation that fuelled the fire.

This morning helicopters will return to the mountains to try to control the flames and ensure the damage does not advance further.