A MASSIVE wildfire is burning across the hills and bearing down on homes in Spain’s popular Malaga province near Marbella.
Hundreds of people face being evacuated as the inferno rages – burning across the landscape at a rate of 30 metres per minute.
Dozens of people – including expats – have already been evacuated from communities in the hills in Pujerra and Benahavis.
At least three firefighters have been hurt in the operation to battle the blaze, including one who suffered 25 per cent all over body burns.
Hotels in the under threat area have also been evacuated, with photos show the Spanish Civil Guard clearing out tourists.
Some 140 firefighters, six fire trucks, and 17 planes & helicopters have been deployed to battle the inferno.
But their heroic efforts are being hampered by 25mph winds which are fanning and driving the flames.
And the flames currently dominate an area which is only accessible by water dropping helicopters and aircraft.
Local authorities have declared an emergency at Level 2 of the Forest Fire Emergency Plan.
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The Junta de Andalucía also called for the Spanish army’s emergency unit to be deployed to help deal with the crisis.
Residents in the area are being urged to move to safety – with 60 already having to leave their homes.
Dozens more are soon expected to be moved from the Marbella Club Golf Resort, reports The Olive Press.
Temporary shelters are being set up to house those forced to leave their homes.
Local councillor Scott Marshall said: “It’s awful, everyone is out fighting this fire – but with winds of [25mph] it’s really hard work.”
Videos from the scene shared by firefighters show a huge plume of smoke rising above the hills.
Recent sweltering weather has seen the area under high alert levels for possible forest fires.
Barbeques, bonfires and cars are all banned from being used in forested areas amid fears the region is becoming a tinderbox.
And the area currently burning was impacted by a huge wildfire last summer – which saw 2,500 homes evacuated from six towns.