Wildfire forces thousands to flee homes in Spain

Firefighters battled a raging wildfire in the mountainous Sierra Bermeja in southern Spain on Sunday, as the country sent in a military unit to help tackle blazes burning close to a Costa del Sol resort.

The wildfire fanned by strong winds has now driven out close to 2,000 people and killed one emergency worker since it erupted on Wednesday.

Huge plumes of smoke rising above the mountains could be seen from miles away. Footage released by emergency services showed firefighters trying to contain flames in the dry, wooded terrain amid high late-summer temperatures.

Evacuees, some elderly, sat around plastic tables in a sports center in the nearby town of Ronda, as volunteers brought in bottled water, chairs and supplies.

EVACUEE, 70, BENITO MENA: "It was very quick, they rushed us out, I came with only the clothes on my back and left everything there, even the animals, a dog and some cats, though I don't think anything will happen to them. I thought it was never going to happen, but there was such a big cloud over the village that it was scary."

The fire covered roughly 15,000 acres according to provisional data. The regional forest fire agency said 365 firefighters were tackling the blaze supported by 41 aircraft and 25 vehicles.

Regional environment chief Carmen Crespo said on Friday that the blaze appeared to have been started deliberately and investigators were working to uncover more details.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting