Two fires in less than a week highlighted the continuing high fire risk in the area as the end of August approaches.

Estepona suffered the mind-blowingly stupid actions of a French tourist who decided to deal with a hornets’ next by setting light to it. Not satisfied with the progress, he then threw petrol over it. The resultant huge blaze lead to the evacuation of over 2,500 people. Firefighters battled for the best part of two days using helicopters and firefighting planes to bring the fire under control. Three hundred hectares were destroyed and the tourist has since been arrested.

Late yesterday afternoon another fire started out in the Bello Horizonte area of Marbella. Emergency services were quickly on the scene and managed to deal with the blaze, but the fire left a pail of smoke over the town. Over 40 houses were evacuated and a policeman hospitalized for smoke inhalation; a timely reminder that fires can start all too easily and spread rapidly at this time of the season.