AN area the size of over 350 football pitches has been reduced to ashes after a forest fire broke out in a nature reserve in Cartagena (Murcia).
The blaze has hit areas bordering the municipalities of Calblanque, Peña del Águila and – in a grim twist of irony – Monte de las Cenizas, which translates as Mount of the Ashes.
Emergency services say the main road to Portmán (La Unión) has been closed to traffic as 40 hectares of its former mining area continued to burn through the night.
The blaze is thought to have started in the La Manga Golf resort on the Mar Menor, a huge residential and holiday complex which covers several kilometres of the Murcia coast.
Firefighters, who have been working round the clock since Thursday, say they have sealed off the 30-kilometre perimeter of the area on fire, and that they believe the flames are under control – although a long way from being extinguished.
As yet, there have been no reports of anyone having to be evacuated, or of personal injury or property damage.
Yesterday, a second forest fire – the cause of which is unknown – broke out in nearby Calasparra (Murcia), but has now been put out altogether.