British ex-pats and tourists are among thousands fleeing for their lives from a massive arson blaze near Benidorm and Alicante.The raging fires come just days after it was revealed Spain is facing a growing grassroots backlash against the huge increase in tourism – with some tourists being labelled as worse than terrorists.
Police investigating the cause of the fires – which have left Javea, Alicante, where half of the 30,000 population were born outside Spain ablaze – confirmed they were looking for a ‘pyromaniac’. Officers said there were at least four seats of the fire indicating a committed arsonist determined to wreak havoc on the resort, and triggering fears it was the work of an anti-tourist arsonist.
More than 2000 tourists and residents have been forced to evacuate and 16 neighbourhoods have been all but destroyed. The fires took hold on Sunday afternoon but continue to rage and Spanish emergency services are still battling to bring them under control.The seat of the Costa Blanca fire was Javea – Alicante which is 25 miles from Benidorm – is extremely popular with British tourists with thousands visiting every year. Those who live near where the inferno broke out were rushed to local schools, restaurants and hostels away from the flames for their own safety.