Even after the worst of fires, when the ground turns black, green shoots of hope can emerge from what remains. And, as the devastating fire raced through the Sierra Bermeja the weekend, people came together to show their solidarity for the thousands of people who had been forced to leave their homes.
Airana (aged six) and Samuel (11), two children from Sabinillas who, from their home, watched the forest burn wrote a letter to the firefighters.
“Hello heroes”, the letter began, “from our terrace we saw the evolution of the fire and watched your tireless work. We pray that this nightmare ends soon". It ends: “We want to send you much encouragement and strength to continue your fight. Thank you very much for your work, for taking care of us and protecting us.”
Clara and Rocío, two girls of about the same age, even approached the Advanced Command Post , in Estepona to give them some drawings that they had dedicated to them, thanking them fo their efforts.
Infoca shared on its Twitter account, that in Estepona, a town hall lawyer, an optometrist from San Pedro Alcántara, a Carrefour cashier and a Civil Protection coordinator also went to the command point in the town to prepare sandwiches. “Words do not come out easily, and we do get the occasional tear. How generous is the Costa del Sol?”
In Algatocín, where the first people from Jubrique were evacuated to on Sunday morning, several municipal areas were set up for them, including the youth club and the gym. From then onwards, many residents of the town arrived with everything they needed for breakfast, such as coffee, bread, juice, milk or and biscuits.
The Súper Valle del Genal supermarket, which, due to its size, serves not only the town but also the surrounding areas, also focused on donating food for families who had been evacuated from their homes. At noon, the residents of Algatocín also organised a paella to feed the displaced people.
But the wave of solidarity did not end there. Other towns in the area, such as Benarrabá, Gaucín, Cortes de la Frontera and Benalauría, used their municipal vehicles to take donated items from their towns to Algatocín.
Although many of the evacuated residents from the area were able to stay in the homes of relatives and friends in the area, those who were not, were transferred to Ronda.
The mayor of the mountain town, María de la Paz Fernández, thank everyone for the show of solidarity - "I am very proud of Ronda and of all the villages in the Serranía," and she even had to ask that no more food be sent because there was more than sufficient.
Solidarity could also be seen behind the wheel of Raquel Mena's car. She dedicated herself to making trips in her private vehicle, transferring neighbours from Alpandeire to Ronda when the evacuation of her village was announced.