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Wildfire under control near Spain’s Marbella

Madrid, Sep 2 (): Huge wildfires on Spain’s Costa del Sol that have destroyed properties have been mostly halted, officials say.

Spanish fire-fighters said they have controlled the wildfire that had feared villages near the upmarket beach resort of Marbella, on the Costa del Sol, famous for its up-market hotels and villas and a favourite haunt of wealthy foreigners.

Holidaymakers on the Costa del Sol have been forced to evacuate hotels and villas after wildfires raged there on Thursday. One of the biggest evacuations was in Ojen, where 3,300 people have escaped. A campsite at Alpujata has also been emptied. Now, after the wildfire was controlled, about 4,000 evacuees have started returning to their homes and hotels.

Hundreds of fire-fighters, backed up by emergency military personnel and 31 planes and helicopters, continue to battle a huge blaze near Marbella.

Five people were injured in the fire, which started on Thursday evening in a mountainous region near Ojén. Three of them have now been released from hospital, but two remain in a serious condition.

Those affected by the blaze were first treated in the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella, and then many suffering burns are being transferred to Málaga to the Specialist Burns Unit in the Carlos Haya Hospital.

The fire started in the Sierra Negra area of Coin, near Malaga and has now affected an area of some 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres).

The wildfire is seemed to have started from several different points. Coín, Monda, Ojén, Alhaurín, Mijas and Marbella were all affected by the blaze which is thought to have been started deliberately.

Spain has endured heat waves throughout the summer posing a threat to areas vulnerable to wildfires. There have already been blazes on the Spanish islands of La Gomera and Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, and wildfires in northern Catalonia, near the Pyrenees.