ESTEPONA – The uncontrollable forest fire in southern Spain will have a frightening sequel on Friday afternoon. The renewed westerly wind with gusts of up to 40 kilometres per hour causes a fire cloud over the villages of Jubrique and Genalguiacil. And as such, puts them into lockdown for safety.
Until now there has been a constant strong westerly wind that changes direction locally. And it seems to play a game, as it were, with the ground and air troops who are trying to control the fire with all their might. A few hours ago, level 2 was activated by the authorities. This means help can be requested from the national military emergency unit UME and from other autonomous regions.
Lockdown due to fire cloud
Moments later, the Infoca forest firefighting service called on all residents of the two villages of Jubrique and Genalguacil not to leave their homes until further notice. The order was made public at 4.30 pm on the Twitter account of emergency service 112. It concerns a temporary lockdown that is being instituted because a ‘pyrocumulus’, also known as a fire cloud, is emerging. The combination of the flames, the wind, and the resulting heat creates a kind of cloud that is full of glowing material, also known as embers. These are hot lumps of slow-burning solid fuel, usually glowing, composed of highly heated wood, coal, or other carbon-based material. Residents of the villages should keep their windows and doors closed to prevent the smoke from entering.
Rain of fire
This cloud of fire hangs over the mentioned villages, which are located about 30 kilometres inland from the Costa del Sol. Should the cloud burst, a rain of fire would descend on the villages of 739 and 522 inhabitants respectively. By instituting a lockdown, the authorities hope to be able to protect residents in the coming hours.
Infoca withdraws ground staff
In doing so, Infoca has withdrawn most of its ground personnel. Infoca previously reported that Friday’s work is focused on containing the fire and preventing it from progressing further. This is to prevent the fire from gaining more potential and turning even more forest areas into ashes. So far, the flames are said to have destroyed more than 3,600 hectares.