One of the hot spots snapped in the Sierra Bermeja on Thursday. / INFOCA

The Sierra Bermeja fire is still not 'extinguished' one month after it started

Infoca has nine specialist forest firefighters on the ground, and is conducting reconnaissance flights with aircraft and drones to locate the last hot spots

IGNACIO LILLO

The huge Sierra Bermeja forest fire - that claimed the life of an Infoca firefighter - is still not completely extinguished as of this Friday (8 October), one month after it started.

The devastating wildfire destroyed almost 10,000 hectares in the Sierra Bermeja and Genal Valley and forced almost 3,000 people in five municipalities to be evacuated from their homes. More than 50 aircraft and 1,000 specialists on the ground battled to contain its spread.

Hundreds of specimens of rare pinsapo Spanish trees were also lost in an area of high ecological value.

Controlled

The fire has been "controlled" since 13 September, some three weeks ago, but it has not yet been declared "extinguished", since there are still several areas where pockets of smoke give away the presence of fire.

The Junta de Andalucía’s Plan Infoca brigade still has nine forest firefighters and a fire engine on the ground, while it continues to conduct reconnaissance flights with drones and aircraft to locate any remaining hot spots.

Sources point out that the roots of large, old trees can continue to burn underground and the main task, at the moment, is to cool down those areas that could be susceptible to a fire restarting.

The absence of rainfall and high autumn temperatures have also combined to slow the progress of the fire’s declared status to fully extinguished.