British expats evacuated from Costa del Sol after wildfires rip through region

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Areas of Spain close to the nation’s popular Costa del Sol holiday resorts have been evacuated because of wildfires. Around 3,000 people were forced from properties west of Malaga as flames swept through the region.

The blaze reportedly started on Wednesday afternoon on the slopes of Pujerra mountain in the Sierra Bermeja close to the Andalusia coast with temperatures soaring into the 30s C and tinder-box dry conditions. Strong winds also helped the flames spread and restricted efforts of firefighters, local TV stations reported.

Spain’s military emergency unit has also been drafted in to assist with efforts to control the fire. residents were instructed to leave their homes in the small town of Benahavis, where around 5,000 ex-pat Britons reside. The blaze-hit area is also close to popular resorts of Torremolinos, Marbella, Mijas, Benalmádena, Estepona and Fuengirola where thousands of UK holidaymakers spend their summer breaks.

Flames and smoke were visible from the popular tourist areas of Estepona and Marbella with visibility hampering efforts to control the inferno. Charlotte Albutt tweeted: “We are currently in Isdabe where an ash cloud has begun to cover the sky and drop small pieces of ash.”

Sinead Doran tweeted: “Plumes of apocalyptic smoke over Estepona this evening blocking the sun. Really strange light.”

Three firefighters have already suffered burns. Temperatures are expected to soar into the 40s C in the coming days.

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