A MASSIVE forest fire is burning through the hills and battering homes in Spain’s popular province of Malaga, near Marbella.
Hundreds of people are at risk of being evacuated as hell rages – burning across the landscape at a speed of 30 meters per minute.
Dozens of people – including expatriates – have already been evacuated from the hillside communities of Pujerra and Benahavis.
At least three firefighters were injured during the blaze-fighting operation, including one who suffered 25 per cent full-body burns.
Photos from nearby Marbella – one of the Costa Del Sol’s most famous resorts – show the nearby hills ablaze.
Hotels in the threatened area were also evacuated, with photos showing the Spanish Civil Guard evacuating tourists.
Some 140 firefighters, six fire engines and 17 planes and helicopters were deployed to fight the inferno.
But their heroic efforts are hampered by 25mph winds fanning and fueling the flames.
And the flames currently dominate an area that is only accessible by helicopters and water-dropping planes.
Local authorities have declared an emergency at Level 2 of the Forest Fire Contingency Plan.
The Junta de Andalucía has also called for the deployment of the Spanish army’s emergency unit to help deal with the crisis.
Residents of the area are urged to seek safety – 60 of them already having to leave their homes.
Dozens more are expected to be moved from the Marbella Club Golf Resort soon, reports The Olive Press.
Temporary shelters are set up to accommodate people forced to leave their homes.
Local Councilor Scott Marshall said: “It’s awful everyone is fighting this fire – but with winds of [25mph] it’s really hard work.”
Videos of the scene shared by firefighters show a huge plume of smoke rising above the hills.
Recent sweltering weather has seen the region under high alert levels for possible wildfires.
Barbecues, bonfires and cars are all banned from use in wooded areas, over fears the area could become a powder keg.
And the area currently on fire was hit by a massive wildfire last summer – which saw 2,500 homes evacuated from six towns.