A THIRD of Spain’s celebrated Smurf village has been destroyed in one of the biggest wildfires in the last decade.
Around 30% of Juzcar’s forestry and landscape has been lost in the Sierra Bermeja wildfire, which raged for six days destroying 10,000 hectares.
The villagers of the famous ‘blue village’ – the setting for the promotional drive for a series of Hollywood films about the Smurfs – have, at least, been allowed back home.
The 115 locals had been evacuated on Sunday, as the giant fire had suddenly expanded.
But they came back to a landscape rather different to the one they left.
“It’s early, but we think that around 30% of the area has been burnt: including pines, chestnut trees and bushes… ” said the mayor, Francisco Lozano.
Juzcar was one of the five villages in the Genal Valley, near Ronda, that was evacuated due to the Sierra Bermeja fire.
The villagers, as well as those from Jubrique, Pujerra, Farajan and Alpandeire, have been allowed to come back home after preventive evacuation.
In total, 1,366 people have been able to return to their homes.
For the moment only the 250 residents of Genalguacil must wait to return.
The deputy director of INFOCA, Alejandro Garcia, confirmed this afternoon that the southern area has been stabilized, while the western part still has some smouldering parts.
It means that the Genalguacil area still faces a small risk of fire breaking out again.
“For this reason it has been decided to maintain the restrictions for now,” he said.
A prophetic cartoon of the smurfs coming under fire from bombs, showing their hills on fire, was used by UNICEF in a TV campaign in 2005.