canary islands

Weather conditions slow down fire in La Palma

The progress is favourable, but the fire, which has affected 4,000 hectares and destroyed 20 buildings in La Palma, is still not under control.

The favorable development of the fire on La Palma, which began early on Saturday morning, has resulted in the Canary Islands Government granting permission for the residents of villages along the LP-1 main road towards the coast to return to their homes. These residents make up the majority of the 4,000 initially evacuated, and the area includes the village of Tijarafe and almost the entire municipality of Puntagorda.

The Canary Islands Government has stated that the return of evacuated individuals will be conducted in accordance with safety instructions and within the designated timetable for the closure of the LP-1, from 22:30 to 6:30, to facilitate ongoing works. Yesterday, partial relocation took place until 22:30, and today it will continue from 6:30 in convoys organized by the presence of security forces such as the Guardia Civil, Canarian Police, and local police.

Additionally, the two road accesses to the Roque de los Muchachos observatory, which were previously evacuated as a precaution, will be reopened. However, the upper part of the LP-1 from the Fayal area to the Torre del Time, as well as the El Roque neighborhood and the Hacienda del Cura area, will remain under evacuation.

Fernando Clavijo, the president of the Canary Islands, emphasized that the fire is still not under control, and the area above the road will remain closed. It is anticipated that favorable temperature and humidity conditions during the night will aid the progress in extinguishing the fire.

Sergio Rodríguez, the president of The Island Council of La Palma, highlighted the positive news and assured that the return of some evacuees is authorized only when there are guarantees of safety. He explained that the weather and resource allocation have favored tackling the most concerning areas, specifically the houses and the southern flank.

No updated figures have been provided regarding the number of affected buildings. Previous estimates suggested a minimum of twenty, including houses, farmhouses, and warehouses. However, there are striking images that indicate a potentially higher number.

Throughout the day, a total of 550 individuals, including ten aerial resources for water discharge and a Civil Guard helicopter for coordination work, have been involved in extinguishing tasks using different land resources deployed.

During the night, approximately 155 troops continued their work in Cruz del Llano, the Izcagua ravine, and El Reventón, with the objective of containing and extinguishing the fire in all possible areas. These nighttime troops include reinforcements from Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and Gran Canaria, as well as members of the Military Emergency Unit and a group from Caldera de Taburiente National Park.

Experts express concern about the southern flank that extends into the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, where resource allocation has been limited due to prioritizing the defense of populated areas. However, the fire’s progress inside the National Park has been slower than expected. As soon as visibility permits, aerial attacks on this front will be conducted today, although clouds and smoke currently hinder visibility.

Montserrat Román, head of Civil Protection and Emergencies of the Canary Islands Government, noted that the fire’s evolution has been significantly different from Saturday but emphasized that the fire remains active and is not yet under control.

Coordinating authorities are analyzing aerial and satellite images to determine the extent of the affected area. They suspect that the area is approximately 1,000 hectares smaller than previously estimated, which was around 4,600 hectares.


The fire originated in El Fayal after 1 a.m. on Saturday, and investigations are ongoing to determine the cause. There is speculation that a container located on the edge of the LP-1 road, before the entrance to the center of Puntagorda, may have caught fire during the night. Security forces continue to investigate the incident.

The fire spread rapidly due to changing wind conditions, recent high temperatures, low humidity (30%), lack of rainfall, and the presence of accumulated combustible material. This area had not experienced a fire since 2000.

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