Wildfire in southern Spain stabilised, people allowed back home

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BENAHAVIS, Spain, June 10 (Reuters) – Firefighters managed to stabilise a wildfire that ravaged 3,500 hectares (8,600 acres) of woods and bushes in southern Spain, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Felix Bolanos said on Friday.

The blaze started on Wednesday afternoon on the slope of Pujerra mountain in the Sierra Bermeja, north of the Costa del Sol, and spurred the evacuation by emergency services of about 2,000 people from the town of Benahavis.

“The good news is that the fire is stabilised, it doesn’t affect the population anymore and citizens will be able to return to their homes in the coming hours,” Bolanos told reporters in Benahavis.

A wildfire is deemed under control when it is no longer expanding freely along an open front, the local wildfire department said. Hundreds of firefighters and several aircraft were tackling the flames on Friday morning.

Three firefighters were injured on Wednesday evening and one was being treated for severe burns in a Malaga hospital.

Another wildfire ravaged the same mountain range last September, reducing at least 7,780 hectares (30 square miles) of woods and bushes to ashes in days. About 1,000 firefighters backed by some 50 aircraft worked to put out that blaze.

Reporting by Jon Nazca Writing by Inti Landauro Editing by Mark Heinrich

A local looks at the flames razing Resinera landscape during the forest fire that broke out on 08 June in Sierra Bermeja mountains in Malaga, southern Spain. The fire has devoured more than 2,000 hectares and some 946 personnel are involved in the extinguishing, security and coordination efforts. EPA-EFE/Daniel Perez

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