At a 13:00 press briefing, the Authorities say that the fire is “controlled”, has burnt at least 400 hectares of scrub and pine, and was almost certainly a deliberate act.
Sonia Ferrer, the delegate of the Government for the Junta de Andalucia in the province, told journalists that the Infoca and UME teams continue to scour the burnt areas to ensure that the fire does not spring back into life, and added that there is now only one small fire left, which is controlled and expected to extinguish itself very shortly.
She added that she would not comment on the causes of the fire as a forensic examination of the scene is now being carried out, but that everything points to the fire having been deliberately started for reasons unknown.
She added that this could have been as simple as someone just throwing a lit cigarette out of the window of a car. Earlier on, the delegate for the Ministry of the Environment told Diario de Sevilla that the fact that several fires had started at different points in the area at around the same time proved, at least to him, that the fires had been set by someone on purpose, although no official statement has been issued.
Several homes and properties have been gutted, but she refused to comment further on numbers or locations until police finish securing the properties and owners are informed. No population centre was affected, only isolated properties, as fire teams managed to save the hamlets in the area.
The mayor of Bedar, Francisco Collado Fernández, says that he expects police to lift the blockade of the village in the next few hours, and that most people will be able to return home by this evening.
The Vice-President of Andalucía, Susana Díaz, spoke to the Mayor earlier today to express the sympathy of the President of Andalucia, José Antonio Griñán, and asked him to pass on their thanks to the firemen and women who worked so hard to save the village overnight.
Road out from Bedar to Los Pinos and beyond now opened. Fire seems under control, although helicopters still dumping water. My wife (Caroline) reports just returned to our house in Los Pinos (Sun 3pm) and main village of Los Pinos seems unaffected. Land to the North-East of central Los Pinos where the land rises up into the hills and beyond looks badly torched. Derek.