(File, Photo by Suleiman Elsing/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
- In Spain, firefighters’ battles with wildfires are complicated by high winds and extreme heat.
- The fire claimed the life of a fireman.
- The firefighter said that the wind often changes direction.
On Friday, a wildfire in southern Spain claimed the life of a firefighter and forced the evacuation of about 1,000 people. The battle against the wildfire has become complicated.
Local government spokesperson Elias Bendodo said that about 400 firefighters, supported by 30 water drop planes, were fighting the fire that broke out in the Sierra Bermeja Mountains in the southern province of Malaga on Wednesday night.
He said at the press conference that the military’s emergency rescue team is on standby to join the fight to extinguish the fire. So far, the fire has destroyed more than 3,600 hectares of land.
Firefighters said that frequent change of direction winds, steep slopes and hot and dry conditions made their task difficult.
“The fire is still alive, and today is still a complicated day due to weather conditions. This is a complicated fire,” Bendodo said.
The temperature in Malaga is expected to climb to 34°C, but the wind is slightly calmer.
He added that many of the approximately 1,000 evacuated people began to return home “little by bit.”
Most of the evacuated were from the city of Estepona, an area popular with British pensioners and holidaymakers.
“Today and tomorrow will be the decisive days, and our firefighters must work effectively so that we can release good news at the end of the day and tomorrow,” Bendodo said.
On Thursday, a 44-year-old firefighter died while trying to put out the fire.
Local officials suspected that the fire might have been caused deliberately because it broke out in several places at the same time.