Estepona: Mass evacuation as fires rip through holiday hotspot
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Hundreds of people have been forced to flee Estepona in Spain as wildfires blaze in the region. Several nearby communities have also been told to evacuate as firefighters work tirelessly to quell the flames. Here are the areas affected by evacuation orders mapped.
When did the fires start in Estepona?
According to El Pais, the wildfire affects the municipalities of Estepona, Jubrique and Genalguacil.
The fires in Estepona had started blazing the night prior at about 9.30pm, with 140 calls made by members of the public to emergency services.
The fires are thought to have broken out in the mountains of Sierra Bermeja.
Several hundred firefighters were tackling the blazes on Thursday morning.
Andalusia’s regional government said the area where the blazes are raging is “difficult” to navigate.
In a statement, the government said: “The geography of the area is difficult, with steep slopes, and the strong west wind is making the work harder.”
Wildfires have been commonplace in Spain this year, with several blazes breaking out over the last few months.
Which areas have been evacuated?
On Thursday, local authorities said some 500 people were evacuated from the southern Spanish resort of Estepona, near Malaga.
Level One of the Emergency Plan for forest fires has been declared in the area.
Reuters reported that residents of the Abejeras, Forest Hills and Monte Mayor communities have also been evacuated.
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As the blazes continue, people elsewhere in Spain have also reported seeing smoke a distance away from Estepona.
One person tweeted: “Massive fire in Estepona with the smoke reaching Marbella”.
Another Twitter user said: “The fire in Jubrique / Estepona is still raging on.
“The sky has turned grey & the sea is almost red from all the smoke, all the way in Cabopino.
“Sending positive thoughts to all our neighbours affected by this. Please stay safe!”
The Met Office in Gibraltar also tweeted that the plume of smoke is “spreading southeast”.
The agency also shared a satellite image of the fires blazing on Spain’s southern coast.
The meteorological service tweeted: “A #wildfire is currently burning up the coast near to #Estepona.
“This satellite image from earlier shows the heat signature from the fire (the small red dot) and a plume of smoke spreading southeast, which can be seen on the horizon from the east coast of #Gibraltar”.
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