The virulence of the fire, fueled by high temperatures and strong winds, surprised authorities, as a veteran forestry technician described it as a “hungry monster” that reacted despite hundreds of firefighters, soldiers and dozens of aircraft that launched from the air were deployed in the area.
A 44-year-old firefighter died Thursday while trying to put out the fire.
About 2,600 residents have been evacuated, but most of them had returned to their homes by Tuesday morning, the regional firefighting service Plan Infoca said.
Experts from the agency have said that the Sierra Bermeja forest fire will set a precedent as the first megafire suffered by Spain as a result of global warming and the progressive abandonment of rural areas.
Official data show that forest fires are getting bigger in Spain. In the first eight months of 2021, they consumed more forest land – 75,000 hectares than the average for the last decade.