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AFP

on 09/13/2021 at 2:28 p.m.

2 min read

Firefighters trying to control a fire that killed one of them and resulted in a total of the evacuation of 2,600 people in southern Spain were helped in their fight on Monday by light rains.

About 500 firefighters, supported by 51 water bombers, were at work to fight this giant fire which has devastated since Wednesday evening more than 8,000 hectares in the mountain of Sierra Bermeja, near Malaga, according to the regional government. from Andalusia.

Since Sunday, 260 soldiers from a specialized army unit have come to lend them a hand, at the request of local authorities.

According to images on local television, elderly people, evacuated preventively from their retirement home, applauded when the first drops of rain fell.

But the firefighters warned the population that this precipitation would help them but would not be sufficient.

“The rain is not going to put out the fire,” Juan Sanchez, head of the regional agency in charge of fighting the fires, told reporters. But “in areas where the fire was under control, it will help us reduce the time needed to put it out” completely, he added.

The fire, which killed a 44-year-old firefighter on Thursday, has been described in recent days by authorities as “complex and exceptional” and “hungry monster” fueled by the swirling winds and heat of the past few days.

Sunday, 1,600 inhabitants of six villages were evacuated preventively in the face of the advance of the flames. Around 1,000 people had already been evacuated the previous days around the coastal town of Estepona but were allowed to return to their homes on Monday.

“Controlling it today would be a little too much to ask, but there is a glimmer of hope,” Regional Environment Officer Carmen Crespo said on Cadena Ser radio.

Devastating fires fueled by the heatwave affected several Mediterranean countries this summer, such as Greece, Italy, Turkey and Algeria.

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