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The Advance Command Post. SUR
Wildfire

Mijas wildfire considered 'stabilised' and the 300 people evacuated from their homes on the Costa del Sol allowed to return

Five aircraft and almost 100 firefighters on the ground have been battling the fire for most of the day and their task was made more complicated by winds gusting up to 80 km/h, this Sunday

Almudena Nogués / Francisco Gutiérrez

Malaga

Sunday, 12 November 2023, 10:23

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The wildfire in Mijas, which forced the evacuation of some 300 people from their homes, was considered stabilised, but not extinguished, this Sunday afternoon. The emergency alert level has therefore gone from 1 to 0, which means that residents who were evacuated can now return to their homes. The Junta de Andalucía's Minister of the Presidency, Antonio Sanz, visited the advanced command post this afternoon and, after meeting with the technical coordination team, announced that the good evolution of the blaze would allow the return of the residents to their houses.

It has been a "very complicated" fire, the minister said, both because of the forest mass and, above all, because of the fact that there are many scattered homes in the area, so the first efforts were concentrated on evacuating the families "with the complication that comes with doing it in the middle of the night". Sanz said that in the area of ​​the fire "there are no longer flames," so the efforts of the extinguishing teams will focus throughout the night on cooling the hottest areas so "it can be considered stabilised as soon as possible."

The wildfire was initially declared in the Venta los Condes area at around four o'clock in the morning by the Junta's Plan Infoca specialist forest fire brigade this Sunday morning (12 November)..

The scene this Sunday morning.
The scene this Sunday morning. Plan Infoca

For most of the day the fire fighting deployment in the area was composed of ground and air resources. Specifically, two heavy helicopters (K70, K40, Super Pumas), one light helicopter, two amphibious water-dropping planes, an operations technician, five groups of forest firefighters (84 personnel), an environmental agent and five heavy fire fighting vehicles. Strong gusts of wind (up to 80 km/h) were complicating its extinction. The rate of fire spread was high at around 30 metres per minute.

The fire forced more than 300 residents to leave their homes.
The fire forced more than 300 residents to leave their homes. SUR

The incident led to the preventive evacuation of a hundred people from the homes closest to the fire in the Valtocado residential development (composed of 185 homes). Initially they were transferred to a safe area in Venta Los Condes and, later, the Osunillas sports hall, located on the road from Benalmádena to Mijas, which was set up as a shelter for their care. There, several people were assisted by the medical services of 061 health emergencies and the Red Cross.

In addition, residents of the In addition, residents of the Rincón del Hinojal, Lomas del Flamenco and the northern part of Mijas Golf (Condesa, Lago Mar Golf, Golf Zenit and Pueblo Mijitas) left their homes as a preventive measure. Including them, the total number of residents evacuated due to the fire amounted to around 300.

As well as Plan Infoca specialist crews, regular fire brigades from Mijas, Fuengirola, Marbella and Benalmádena were deployed; as well as Guardia Civil, National Police, Local Police, 061 medical services, Red Cross, Civil Protection volunteers and GREA rescue teams.

As a result of the advance of the fire, some people living in the area had to be treated for smoke inhalation and the A-387 road, which connects Alhaurín el Grande and Fuengirola, was closed between kilometre 0 and 9.5 in both directions.

The delegate of the Andalusian regional government in Malaga province, Patricia Navarro, declared the Level 1 status for the blaze at 7.44 am due to the emergency situation.

Level 1 defines those fires where possible evolution requires the implementation of special measures for the protection of people and non-forest assets that may be threatened by fire, requiring the deployment of civil protection measures.

An Advanced Command Post (PMA) was set up very close to the Osunillas sports centre where the evacuated residents were being cared for.

The Secretary General of the Interior, Lourdes Fuster, travelled to the area, as well as the Junta's delegate in Malaga province, Patricia Navarro, the general director of Emergencies and Civil Protection, Javier Gil; as well as the mayor of Mijas, Ana Mata; the deputy director of Emergencies, Juan Ramón Rodríguez Claudio; head of the Civil Protection service, Ana Celia Gonzále and the deputy director of the Provincial Operational Centre (COP Infoca) of Malaga, Alejandro Molina.

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