San Juan Fire Ban


San Juan Fire Ban. Costa Del Sol festival attendees are being warned that failure to respect new fire regulations will lead to fines and even imprisonment.

San Juan Fire Ban

San Juan Fire Ban

Costa Del Sol festival goers who will be celebrating San Juan on the 23rd of June have been warned that they face fines and imprisonment if new regulations concerning beach fires are not respected.  The regulations were approved in a surprise move by the Mijas County Council yesterday.

New San Juan Rules

The new rules make it illegal for fires to be lit on beaches during the San Juan festival, unless strict new health and safety laws are observed.  Here is a breakdown of the new rules:

  • Fires may only be lit on the beach between 4pm and 8pm
  • Fires may only be lit when there is someone present who is an approved Fire Andalucia Responsible Technician
  • Virtual flames and artificial light sources will be permitted at all times
Beach Fire

An artists impression of a San Juan party this year.

Obtaining Accreditation

Due to the sheer number of fires which are usually lit during the San Juan festival, it will not be possible for the council to provide an accredited technician for each fire.  However, it is possible for members of the public to obtain a certificate and supervise a beach bonfire.  To gain this accreditation, members of the public can present their NIE number at a local town hall and register for the free 12 hour course (subject to a €300 administration charge).

Alberto Extinctor from the Mijas Fire Regulatory Council says that the new rules are in place to safeguard beach users during the famous San Juan festival.  “These rules are about safety, we’re not trying to spoil anyone’s fun here or make money.  Everyone knows that sand is one of the most combustible materials around, it’s important that anyone lighting a fire on the beach understands how to properly regulate it”.

Alecia Moore

Miss. Moore is in favour of the new rules, after her genuine Armarni bikini was damaged by fire at last year’s San Juan.

Support For The San Juan Rules

Some British expats on the Costa Del Sol are in agreement with these new rules.  Alecia Moore is originally from Birmingham, but now lives in Marbella.  She told Costa Del Sol Update “I’m not from Birmingham actually, I’m from Lichfield.  People don’t realise the risks.  Last year, I was at a San Juan bonfire with my friends and there were no fire safety people nearby.  I jumped over the fire and my bikini bottoms became singed.  I was devastated, I’d only bought them that morning from the man on the beach who assured me that they were genuine Armani.  They cost me 12 euros”.


People are already queuing for the free course to gain the required qualification to enjoy a bonfire at San Juan.

Four Week Waiting List

However, the new rules are being met with criticism from some.  Anne Fernandez runs a Facebook group where expats can express outrage at important matters including Brexit and tourists who wear inappropriate swimwear on the beach.  She said “This is ridiculous.  To bring this rule into force just days before one of the biggest beach festivals of the year is madness.”

Miss. Fernandez says it will be impossible for people to get the required certificate in time.  “Several of my group members have already been to the town hall to get this certificate.  Not only is it a 12 hour course to qualify, but there is a four week waiting list.  We are outraged.  This makes it impossible for us to enjoy San Juan legally”.

Guardia Civil Armed

The Guardia Civil pictured preparing to patrol the beaches during the San Juan festival.


The penalties for anyone caught near a bonfire which isn’t attended by someone with the required certificate will be steep.  Marlon Carbon from the Sand Hydra Incendiary Team told us “There will be a strong police presence on Saturday night, checking for certificates.  Anyone around a bonfire without a person carrying the new certificate will be fined up to €829, and failure to pay will result in jail time.”

Will you be celebrating San Juan with a beach bonfire? Have your say in the comments section below!

Written by Caleb Followill, Costa Del Sol Update

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