Thousands evacuated as wildfire injures 3 firefighters in Spain

Hot, dry wind is making it difficult to get blaze under control.

Thousands evacuated as wildfire injures 3 firefighters in Spain

Some 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as a wildfire that broke out on Wednesday in the mountains near the Spanish city of Marbella continues to rage on Thursday, officials said.

Three of the firefighters combating the wildfire have been injured. One of them is in serious condition after 25% of his body suffered serious burns.

Around 500 people are trying to tame the blaze, including those from Spain’s Military Emergencies Unit.

However, a Malaga government official confirmed on Thursday morning, that the wildfire still has the upper hand.

“Last night was tremendous. The fire was advancing very rapidly,” Malaga government official Francisco Javier Salas told local broadcaster Cadena Ser.

“It still isn’t under control. If the weather changes and the wind starts blowing from the other direction, the fire will stop and start going the other way, but these things are unpredictable,” Javier Salas said.

He said that he cannot rule out more evacuations beyond the around 3,000 residents who have already been ordered to leave their homes in and around the town of Benahavis.

Benahavis is just around 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) away from the glamorous Costa del Sol resort city Marbella.

The blaze comes as Spain’s meteorological agency warns that the country’s earliest official heatwave could begin on Friday, with temperatures hitting 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of Andalusia.

Already, the mercury is expected to rise to 31 degrees on Thursday in Marbella.

Hüseyin Demir