Irish in Marbella on blaze alert

IRISH holidaymakers in and around Marbella in Spain haven't yet been affected by a huge bush fire which is devouring hillsides around the popular resort.

So far, one person has been killed, two have suffered burns and some 4,000 others have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Irish holidaymakers have yet to be evacuated as the blaze stays inland and away from the popular coastal areas, but they are being kept up to date by their travel agents.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook in Dublin told the Herald: "None of our Irish customers are effected, but we are monitoring events there."

The fire has been aided thanks to a mild winter, followed by a scorching summer which has left much of southern Spain tinder dry and 580 square miles of land burned in 12,000 wildfires so far this year.

A Spanish official said the latest fire started outside the mountainside town of Coin, northeast of Marbella, and that authorities suspect arson as the cause.


All the residents of the nearby town of Ojen were forced to evacuate as flames swept through their valley.

An elderly man's charred body was found yesterday in a tool shed near the town.

Marbella is popular with thousands of Irish. It's normally green hillsides are studded with mansions and palaces belonging to the rich and the famous such as Sean Connery and the king of Saudi Arabia.