A fire started by burning stubble has destroyed more than four hectares of produce and buildings on land near Maro. The blaze broke out in Caleta de Maro at 10.00am on Sunday, November 28, and was fought by 30 fire fighters plus air support before being finally extinguished around 7.00pm the following day.
At its height, the fire forced police to close the N-340 road north of the outbreak in the Maro – Carro Gordo Natural Park. Infoca said 36.6 hectares of land were affected, including 2.6 hectares within the park, much of which is owned by the Azucarera Larios S. L.
A total of 20 families have been affected directly with several losing their means of making a living after fourteen greenhouses were destroyed, The produce lost as a result, including avocados, bananas, custard apples, mangoes and beans, has been valued at €300,000
One family who have been building a new home for two years lost everything while on Maro beach, a leisure business lost 90 kayaks and two zodiac boats with damage totalling around €60,000.
Nerja’s mayor, José Alberto Armijo, says the municipality’s budget for 2022 will include help for those who have lost property and produce in the fire, while an on-line fund-raising campaign (gofund.me/16c0bea3) passed its target of €10,000 within a couple of days. The money is being used to help to buy clothing and food, as well as rebuilding houses.
Another website (docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfbnhevKgF3-X0A2Yx3vKm9jRpvEO6Iz73I3UmnqzlI91rysA/viewform) opened to collect offers of donations as well as practical help such as cleaning, places to sleep and construction work.
A 74-year-old Nerja resident is reported to have admitted accidently starting the blaze by burning stubble on his own plot of land without realising that the wind would quickly spread the flames. He is said to have been “very sorry” for what had happened. Anyone wishing to burn of stubble or agricultural waste must obtain the relevant permissions and must comply with the conditions set out, which include not working in windy conditions.