Machinery gutted by the fire. / ÑITO SALAS

Sierra Bermeja officially declared an area 'seriously affected by a civil protection emergency'

As a result, central government funds will be available to those affected by the huge fire, that blazed out of control for six days and affected the municipalities of Estepona, Benahavís, Jubrique and Genalguacil

SUR

Spain's Cabinet has agreed, at its meeting this Tuesday (21 September), to declare the areas affected by the Sierra Bemeja forest fire as a zone seriously affected by a civil protection emergency (ZAEPC).

The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, had requested this help from central government last Friday, during his visit to the affected area.

The fire destroyed almost 10,000 hectares and damaged a total of 54 agricultural and livestock farms (160 hectares, of which 90 per cent are home to chestnut trees, a vital crop in the Genal valley); and 110 kilometres of streams and riverbeds. It also claimed the life of an Infoca firefigter.

The aid will help cover personal loses, infrastructure, as well as crops and farms, industrial estates and other production facilities.

Despite not having a definitive estimate of the damage caused the Government has promised funding to restore the population's living conditions and achieve the full restoration of essential public services.

The Government delegate in Andalucía, Pedro Fernández, has called on the Junta to "to start work on the preparation of all the reports and documents as necessary. The Junta de Andalucía must work for the benefit of all those affected by this terrible fire.”