MADRID  - Almost 4,000 people who fled a deadly forest fire in mountains near the glitzy Spanish resort of Marbella returned home on Saturday after the blaze was brought under control, local officials said. An elderly British man perished in the fire and five people were injured when fast-moving flames and choking smoke engulfed mountains near the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. “The roads were reopened at 10 am (0800 GMT) and all the people living around Ojen were able to return after being evacuated,” a spokesman for the Andalusia regional government told AFP. The some 3,000 residents of Ojen had fled along with a number of people in several nearby villages.

Flames had lit up the night sky in the the early hours of Friday as a 12-kilometre (seven-mile) line of fire glowed across the Sierra Negra mountains that overlook the Costa del Sol resort. Around 400 people - firefighters and emergency military personnel, backed by 16 planes and helicopters - had battled through the night to douse the inferno, which was fanned by warm, dry winds in southern Spain, officials said. “The fire is practically stabilised,” the spokesman said, as the wind has dropped and the humidity has risen, but he added that the area would continue to be monitored for any resurgence of the blaze. The charred body of a 78-year-old British man was found in the remains of a small rural home near Ojen, despite an evacuation order the previous night.