Palma.—The forest fire which broke out close to Costa d'en Blanes on Wednesday night was officially declared under control yesterday afternoon after having destroyed over 14 hectares of woodland and threatened a number of luxury homes.

British residents Vicky and Harry Metcalfe's house at the very top of Costa d'en Blanes was the closest to the fire. “We were just about getting ready for dinner on the terrace at about 8pm when we suddenly smelt burning and then ash began landing on the court yard,” Vicky told the Bulletin yesterday. “I dialled 112 and the local security company and within under 20 minutes spotter planes were over the scene and all the emergency and security services began deploying to the scene. As the crow flies it was about 1'000 metres from our home down the next valley but we watched it spread very quickly, the flames leaping from tree to tree as the plume of smoke got thicker and thicker as the blaze quickly took hold,” she explained. “The spotter planes and helicopter pilots picking up their buckets of water did a magnificent job. They were flying blind into the dense cloud of smoke and the area is thick with electricity cables. Very courageous and professional those people but they had to call it a day once it got dark. “But, on the ground members from all of the police forces, forestry commission, Civil Protection and fire fighters battled through the night beating the flames until the Canadair fire fighter planes were able to take off at 5.30am yesterday and they were still dumping water picked up in the bay of Palma Nova at 11am,” she added.

“We fed and watered some of the emergency crews, they were all so polite and amazingly professional. This was the third fire we've lived through and the biggest to date but luckily the wind was blowing the flames away from the properties, otherwise we would have been in serious trouble.” “I know the area well and the fire was very inaccessible, all those involved did a marvelous job,” she added.

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