Costa del Sol hit by devastating wildfires

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued advice following an outbreak of the worst wildfires in the Malaga area in many years.

30 aircraft and more than 500 firefighters have been working to get the blaze under control with the help of 100 men from the local emergency military unit. Fires that have spread through forests around Barranco Blanco between Mijas Costa and Coin in the hills near Malaga.

The FCO says “travellers and residents are advised to follow instructions given by the local authorities” and many residents and tourists staying in the areas affected were directed towards Mijas racecourse.

A fire originally started on Thursday evening in Coin but the blaze spread, affecting hotels and homes in Coin, Las Cascadas in Calahonda, the five star La Cala Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort, and Ojen and Marbella. Strong winds in Coin fuelled the flames which tore through Mijas and Alhaurin el Grande, both of which are neighbouring villages next to Coin.

The Elviria Hills, where La Mairena (a UNESCO biosphere) is located has also been affected. There were reports of a building burning in the area and two people were taken to the Costa del Sol Hospital with burns in the early hours of the morning.

One of the biggest evacuations was in Ojen where 3,300 people have managed to escape the wildfires. All in all, it has been a devastating summer for parts of Spain with heatwaves sparking blazes in the Canary Islands (La Gomera and Tenerife) and even northern Spain, around Catalonia near the Pyrenees.

Roads closed on the Costa del Sol include part of the AP-7 toll motorway, the A-7053 between Mijas, Fuengirola and Alhaurin and the A355 Ojen road. Local authorities believe around 1,000 hectares have been burnt and Angel Nogal, Mayor of Mijas spoke to residents on the local TV station during the night while flames blazed up to 30 metres high.

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