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Terral makes it difficult to fight a fire in Malaga near the Sierra Bermeja and triggers an alarm.

Date: August 20, 2022 Time: 05:48:57

The fire has been affecting the La Resinera area in Pujerra (west of the province of Malaga) since noon this Wednesday. At five o’clock in the afternoon, due to the deterioration of the situation, the fire was declared 1st degree. Difficult land conditions, high temperatures and strong offshore winds this Wednesday, as well as the memory of the Sierra Bermeja fire in September, have raised alarms. There are six helicopters on the ground, two Super Pumas, two Kamovs, two cargo planes on the ground, six fire engines and ten teams of forest firefighters. In addition, two amphibious aircraft fly into the area from the Torrejon base.

🔴#IFPujerra, La Resinera area. Terrestrial wind 25/40 km/h, terrain inaccessible by land.
▶️ 6 helicopters, 2 Super Puma, 2 KAMOV, 2 cargo planes on the ground, 1 ACO, 5 BRICA, 7 #TOP, 10 #forestfiregroup, 6 fire trucks, 3 #AAMM, UMMT, UMIF and UNASIF. 2 prints requested

— INFOCA (@Plan_INFOCA) June 8, 2022

The fire strikes a site inhabited mainly by pine forests in the Genal Valley, very close to the Sierra Bermeja region, where in September last year a fire destroyed about 10,000 hectares, mainly pine forests, in one of the worst fires in recent years in Andalusia . At 15:30, INFOCA reported a fire that had just started the summer season and in the worst possible conditions: land that affects most of the province and that Pujerra is blowing with gusts of 25 to 40 kilometers per second. hour, at temperatures above 30 degrees.

Carmen Casero, Acting Delegate of the Andalusian Junta in Malaga, activated level 1 at 17:05. By mid-afternoon, the troops continued to join: 125 men on land, six fire engines and 15 aircraft. INFOCA predicts that strong gusts of wind will blow until ten o’clock in the evening. The forecast is that then a strong west will suddenly blow.

According to 112, the fire has already forced the evacuation of the urbanization of Montemayor in the municipality of Benahavis. caused by intense surface heating.

Complicated orography is added to the weather conditions, in places difficult to access terrain. INFOCA firefighters explained to Andalucía that the place is “difficult to access and bad”. The fire broke out when many of them camped in Seville to protest the lack of stabilization of the workforce and the conditions in which they carry out their work. Many Infoca planning centers and forest protection centers (known as CEDEFOS) do not have helicopters until June 20, and most of the staff do not even have personal protective equipment, one of them said.

For many years, forest firefighters have been demanding stabilization of work, allowing them to carry out good preventive work during the rest of the year. This is also a great requirement of experts and environmental organizations. “All the words of last year, after Sierra Bermeja, are deaf, in plain sight. Fires start earlier, the more violently, the more abandoned mountains, more and more fuel in them, and we, burning more and more, are less and less prepared, ”the fireman laments.

Andalusian government concerns

The Pujerra fire, visible from Marbella or Estepona, has alerted the Andalusian government, which has already been criticized by firefighters and experts for its belated response in Sierra Bermeja. There are fears, and Elias Bendodo, adviser to the President of the Junta of Andalusia, left the People’s Party’s electoral caravan, passing through Córdoba to go to the forward command post. “It hurts that the fire has again affected the Sierra Bermeja. The priority now is to contain his progress, and the media is already in action. Highly expected,” President and candidate Juan Manuel Moreno tweeted.

“Forecasts at the moment [algo menos de las siete de la tarde] they are not good,” Bendodo warned from Pujerra. “Firefighters have just over two hours so that the night is not very difficult.” “His evolution is unfavorable.”

La Resinera is a 6500 ha estate with a perimeter of 58 kilometers between Benahavis, Huscar and Pujerra, of high ecological value, also known for being once owned by the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who intended to build a large luxury development there with a golf course , convention center and possibly use it for your exile. After the fall, it ended up in the hands of the Libyan Foreign Investment Bank.

Francisco Macias, the mayor of Pujerra, explains that the fire is 10 or 11 kilometers from the city, surrounded by “processed” chestnuts, which will make it difficult to get to Pujerra’s urban areas. In September, he was supposed to reach the border of the burnt area and instead is moving towards Benahavis. “The problem is in the mountains, because it is impossible to move forward,” the mayor explains. “The problem is, if it changes direction at night, it will go back and what little of the mountain range is left will be destroyed. Let’s cross our fingers.”

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