Plan INFOCA

Sierra Bermeja forest fire declared ‘controlled’, one week after it started

Specialist firefighters from the Junta de Andalucía’s Plan Infoca brigade continue their efforts to fully extinguish the blaze

ENRIQUE MIRANDA / IGNACIO LILLO

Just one week after a major forest fire was sparked in Pujerra at 3 o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday 8 June, the Sierra Bermeja fire was declared ‘controlled’ by Infoca.

The work of hundreds of Junta de Andalucia forest firefighters and professionals, supported at the height of the blaze by military personnel, has allowed the Plan Infoca brigade to finally control the fire, which had been stabilised since last Friday.

Firefighters have had to work in very difficult terrain, with steep areas and a lot of vegetation, which made definitive control of the fire very difficult. While hot spots may still remain within the perimeter, it should no longer reactivate outside of the controlled zone.

Now the last step remains, after its stabilisation and control, which is the final extinction.

Evacuated from homes

At the height of the blaze almost 3,000 people were evacuated from properties in the urban area of ​​Benahavís and some residential developments in Estepona. Three members of the Junta’s Plan Infoca specialist forest fire brigade were injured fighting the flames. Two of them were discharged after a few hours, while the third suffered burns that affected 10% of his body.

Four arrests

Four workers have been arrested and questioned by the Guardia Civil in connection with the fire, after it was allegedly sparked by heavy machinery working on the La Resinera estate , a 6,500-hectare private property that belongs to the Libyan Foreign Bank (Forebank).