Two men were arrested and charged as suspects for having caused the Loma de Gato – barranco del Romeral hill fire on the 6th of this month.
The suspects, who are from Motril and Castell de Ferro, had been burning branches, without the necessary permits, on an area of land next to the barranco. The fire had got out of hand and gobbled up 30 hectares.
The fire also provoked the evacuation of five cortijos with the Guardia Civil and Protección Civil helping 16 people to safety.
Eight aircraft, both fixed-wing and rotary-wing ones lent support to the 54 fire fighters on the ground to contain and then extinguish the blaze. If you go down to the barranco leading to La Cabría beach and look north you can see the full extent of the fire damage.
The environmental department of the Guardia Civil (Seprona) investigated the fire and pin pointed two starting points for the fire on land belonging to the suspects. They also found witnesses who confirmed that the suspects were on their properties at the time of the outbreak of the fire.
The Guardia Civil consider that both men acted with negligence and were therefore the alleged culprits behind the fire.
Not surprisingly, 95% of all forest fires are caused by the hand of Man and in the majority of cases, through negligence.
Even without this drought that is not only gripping the Costa Tropical, but large areas of Spain, there is a yearly prohibition on starting bonfires and BBQs between the 1st of June and the 15th of October in the whole of Andalucía. Such is the danger of fires that you can’t even take a motor vehicle into the woodlands because of the heat given off by an exhaust pipe.
Editorial comment: living up in the mountains on an olive and almond grove, I have to obtain a licence to burn branches via the Town Hall from the Almuñécar fire service. They will not give you a licence until after the autumn rains, usually for a period of 60 days. At the moment, the grove is parched and a powder keg awaiting the first spark but even so, locals further down the valley have been burning cuttings…
(News: Almunecar/Itrabo, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)