Fire in Malaga: A paradise destroyed
September 2, 2012
By: Pedro Luis Gómez, Diario Sur
Almost 500 acres of the estate of Julio Iglesias, destroyed by flames. - The singer is devastated by the tragedy, «whose worst result is the loss of human life»

It's as if Malaga does not deserve a little joy, a little happiness. It's a strange week this one, which has ended in a veritable tragedy, with a devastating forest fire intentionally set, hours after the celebration enjoyed by the whole province because of the success of their football team and its qualification for the finals of the Champions League.  From euphoria to despair only took one day, and we find ourselves faced with destruction and death, with some losses which are at this time irreparable, whose recovery the current generation will not see.  It's as if we had been cursed or something like that.  Malaga and the Costa del Sol were thrust Friday into the headlines of the major media around the world, and not because of anything good, but because of the disastrous fire which devastated six municipalities of the province, an area known as «the paradise of southern Europe.»

The estate of Julio Iglesias (located precisely between the residential areas of La Mairena and Elviria, at the boundary of Ojen and Marbella) has been one of the most affected by the fire, which destroyed almost 500 acres of woodland and gardens of great value; 'Las Cuatro Lunas,' as it is called, is regarded as one of the most beautiful and well-kept Mediterranean estates, and is valued at 150 million euros (188 million dollars.)  Today's most international singer, who left the estate with his family scarcely a week ago after spending nearly three months there, was intently following on Thursday and Friday the development of the disaster from his house in Punta Cana hours before leaving for Miami, where he will temporarily reside before his new tour of America and Asia: «The most important thing above all is the human life the fire has claimed, a tragedy, and the wounded.  I personally know a number of them and I am devastated.  Next to the human tragedy, the rest is less important,» he commented with evident concern and agitation.  Regarding 'Las Cuatro Lunas' he acknowledged that «I have lived through some hours of anguish, as almost miraculously the residence and other facilities escaped, but the fire has eaten all the woodland, which I created with my own hands, because I was a happy man and in love with my estate.  The area affected by the fire, all of it, is the best and most beautiful natural paradise in Europe, and we have lost it, it is something irreparable.   I am also outraged. because I have spent years warning the authorities responsible for the issue of the very serious risk of what has now happened, and no one has ever paid the slightest attention, sometimes even with considered ecological positions... Well look where they have taken us, what has just happened.  The myopia of many government officials is truly regrettable, and their demagoguery an attack on reason.  It is not right that such a natural beauty as the affected area in the Costa del Sol has been reduced to ashes.  Now what?» he asked truly disillusioned, but at the same time highlighting the work of the troops who have fought against the fire.  «We have to give heartfelt thanks to those who have risked their lives trying to put out the fire and save men, women and children.  Also I keep thinking of the many people of Malaga and the many Spanish people affected by the fire in this terrible summer, and I sympathize with all of them

Julio Iglesias spoke by phone with the various Civil Protection and Fire Consortium officials during the night on Thursday.  «The houses on the estate, except that of the caretakers, were saved by the grass, which acted as a firewall, but historic cork trees, hundred-year-old olive trees, Spanish firs, and a long list of precious species of trees and plants of incalculable value have been lost.  It has been a great tragedy

People very close to Iglesias doubt that the singer will return to his house in Ojen. «He built this himself 15 years ago, and he is very affected by what has happened.  He planned to stay here the whole month of October to celebrate a new European tour, but now we don't know what he will do....»

Also remember that the projects which Iglesias presented to the Ministry of Public Works of the government of Andalusia to, among other things, prevent possible forest fires, were rejected.  They were projects which, according to the same sources, would also have generated great wealth for the area.

And it is possible that the fire has also taken with it one of the best ambassadors Andalusia, the Costa del Sol and Malaga had in the world…
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