Major wildfire in Málaga leaves elderly Briton dead and his wife missing

The 78-year-old's body was found in the city limits of Ojén

Firefighters on Friday struggle to control a blaze near Coín in Málaga province.
Firefighters on Friday struggle to control a blaze near Coín in Málaga province.GARCÍA-SANTOS

One person was confirmed dead and another missing on Friday night after a major wildfire affected the municipalities of Coín, Alhaurín el Grande, Mijas, Marbella and Ojén, in Málaga province. The victim is a British man aged 78 whose charred body was found in the area of Las Blanquillas, inside the city limits of Ojén. His wife has not yet been found.

Meanwhile, a couple in their late fifties was taken to hospital with burns to 60 percent of their bodies. Both lived in a detached home inside the Marbella residential estate of El Rosario.

A mother and her two children were found hiding inside a cave in Ojén and taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Five other people were also evacuated from their homes.

The fire was extending to the Sierra de las Nieves even as the chief of the Málaga firefighting department, Manuel Marmolejo, announced that a new front had opened up and reached the area of Juanar, where two hotels had to be evacuated. Marmolejo said the wildfire was extending with “great virulence.”

The blaze began around 6.50pm on Thursday and soon extended to a perimeter of between 50 and 60 kilometers, said Marmolejo. An estimated 1,000 hectares of land have been affected.