ESTEPONA – A firefighter from the forest firefighting service Infoca was killed on Thursday evening in the fire that has been raging for 24 hours in the southern Spanish province of Málaga. The municipalities of Estepona, Genalguacil, Jubrique and Benahavis are affected.
It concerns a 44-year-old man from Almería with a lot of experience. This was his sixth season working for Infoca. He was reportedly trapped by the fire as he tried to stop the advancing flames.
At the time, more than 400 other firefighters were working with him to control the fire. It is raging in difficult to reach and mountainous terrain.
Andalucian President Juanma Morena wrote on Twitter: ‘A forest firefighter has been killed in #IFJubrique. I am very sorry. It’s a huge accident. My hug to his family and his colleagues at @Plan_INFOCA.
Infoca itself tweeted: #IFJubrique. Today our colleague CMH, 44 years old, belonging to the team AE214, from #Almería, died while he was busy extinguishing this forest fire. Today I speak in first person and from my heart: I can’t stop crying.
Spanish Prime Minister Sánchez also expressed his condolences to the relatives of the firefighter. On behalf of the government, Sánchez wanted to highlight the courage and dedication of the firefighters in fighting forest fires. He called their task “very commendable.”
Fire difficult to control
According to the latest expert estimates published in the SUR newspaper, more than 3,500 hectares were destroyed by the fire. Reports say the fire started late Wednesday evening. The experts base this on the various fires in Genalguacil. Nearly 1,000 people were evacuated as a precaution. Furthermore, at least 30 fire-fighting aircraft participated in fighting the fire. At night, the extinguishing work falls to the units on the ground, because of the poor visibility.
The fire is very difficult to control because there is a strong westerly wind with gusts of up to 50 kilometres per hour.