Major fire on the Costa del Sol in the mountains of Mijas

by Lorraine Williamson
Mijas fire

MIJAS – A fire broke out in the Sierra de Mijas on the Costa del Sol just after noon on Friday. In the mountains between Fuengirola and Mijas and Alhaurín el Grande in the zoneparaje El Higueron‘. All possible means have been sent for the extinction tasks.  

That is what Elías Bendodo of the Junta de Andalucia stated for the gathered press. The goal is to stop the rapid spread of fire as quickly as possible. Infoca immediately reported on Twitter that it had deployed the following;

  • a coordination aircraft
  • 3 helicopters
  • 1 Super Puma
  • 3 fire-fighting planes
  • 4 teams of Bricas
  • 4 units of forest firefighters
  • 2 fire trucks

Fire-fighting planes from other areas of Andalucia were added later. Moreover, the fire started in an area with pine trees and was difficult to access. 

Hundreds of photos of the fire and smoke development taken from various angles are circulating on social media. Furthermore, the large smoke column can be seen from the meadow perimeter. According to initial reports, the fire appears to be spreading very quickly. 

The flames are seen in the area called Cañada de los Jaenes. Furthermore, the Infoca places it in the Paraje El Higuerón. 

Evacuation of 1,300 people 

The newspaper MálagaHoy writes that around 3.00 pm the evacuation of 1,300 inhabitants of Alhaurín de la Torre and Alhaurín el Grande was started because of the approaching flames. It concerns residents of the urbanisations of Lauro Golf, Jarapalos and Llanos de la Plata in Alhaurín de la Torre and Buenavista in Alhaurín el Grande. 

The mayor of Alhaurín de la Torre, Joaquín Villanova about this: “I do not trust it, the fire was 2 kilometres away and with the wind it is rapidly approaching the residences of Lauro Golf”. The golf course does help to prevent the fire from spreading to the village, but the reasonably present wind has prompted Villanova to evacuate anyway. 

Approaching the Ardalejos zone

The fire first developed from Mijas to Alhaurín de la Torre. However, it now seems to be moving west to Alhaurín el Grande. There the flames approach the Ardalejos zone. 

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Villanova says he suspects that the fire was intentional because there are several seats of fire. Everything is aimed at preventing the fire from developing towards Pinos de Alhaurín, where 7,000 people live. 

The fire-fighting planes do their job, but as soon as they leave for a while to fetch new water, the fire flares up again due to the wind. “There is still a lot of space between the flames and the houses, but the fire has come 200 metres closer in 5 minutes,” said Villanova. 

Road closures

The DGT traffic service has reported that the A368 between Mijas-Pueblo and Benalmádena has been closed between kilometres 0 and 5 in both directions. Also the A-404 from km 9 to km 13 in both directions at the height of Alhaurín El Grande has been closed. 

The fire also leads to delays and traffic jams in Málaga city. There are a few kilometres of traffic jam on the A-7 and the AP-7 from Cala de Mijas to El Higuerón in the direction of Málaga. There is also slow traffic at the Arroyo de la Miel exit and in San Pedro Alcántara. It coincides with the start of the holidays of many Spaniards and Friday afternoon is the time when many people arrive or leave. 

Bendodo said he hopes that the firefighters can make the most of the daytime and the fact that the wind is not (yet) blowing too hard. 

Carmen Casero, deputy of the Junta de Andalucía, activated level 1 of the Emergency Plan for Forest Fires at 1.25 pm. That is why the rescue and emergency group GREA is also on site. 

Previous fires

It is not the first time that a fire has raged here. The last was just ten days ago, near the AP-7. However, it was quickly extinguished. The most serious, in 2008, destroyed 75 hectares of forest on the other side of the Sierra de Mijas and was set alight. There were also major fires in the municipality of Mijas in the autumn of 2011 and 2012. One originated in the paraje Barranco Blanco and developed into the municipality of Marbella. 

It is the second forest fire in the province of Malaga in just 24 hours. On Friday morning, Infoca declared the fire that broke out on Thursday in the municipality of Casabermeja under control. 

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