The wildfire in La Palma is still active and spreading, but there is positive progress in the northern and southern flanks of the island. However, the southern flank, specifically in the Caldera de Taburiente, remains challenging to access, requiring continuous ground and air resources to fight the flames. Approximately 200 hectares of the park have been affected so far.
Due to the favorable evolution of the fire, more residents of the Puntagorda municipality have been allowed to return to their homes, except for those in the El Roque neighborhood. In Tijarafe, access is still prohibited in the area between Barranco del Jurado and Mirador de El Time, but only above the LP-1 road.
Efforts to extinguish the fire have focused on the southern flank, particularly in the Jieque ravine, where technical extinguishing work is being carried out. Yesterday, 80% of the aerial and ground resources were concentrated in this area. On the northern front of the fire, in the El Reventón area, there are no active flames, and the fire is under control.
The weather conditions have been favorable, with cool temperatures and humidity levels above 60% throughout the day. However, there is concern about the expected increase in heat in the coming days, especially tomorrow.
During the night, around 150 firefighting personnel and 40 members of the Canary Police, Civil Guard, and Local Police worked on the fire. Controlled burns will also be conducted to create firebreaks by eliminating dry vegetation and slowing down the fire’s advance, as stated by the Minister of Territorial Policy, Cohesion, and Water, Manuel Miranda.
Today, the priority will be given to deploying ground forces and aerial resources to combat the fire in the Caldera de Taburiente, which is the most challenging area to access. Aerial and ground resources will be used forcefully in this area while monitoring the situation throughout the night. According to Montserrat Román, the head of Civil Protection, there are only 14 people remaining in the Pavilion of Los Llanos who couldn’t be relocated with family or friends, out of the initial 200 people who spent the night there. Additionally, there are 20 pets and 35 heads of cattle.
Yesterday, residents of the Residencia de Mayores de Puntagorda and the Centro socioanitario de Tijarafe who were in the Hospital de Dolores and other residences were relocated with the assistance of the Red Cross and municipal services.
According to Montserrat Román, the fire has affected approximately 3,500 hectares, and the same number of air and ground resources will be deployed today. The fire is still active but within the expected evolution and under favorable conditions. Changes in weather conditions are anticipated, including increased heat, which may help dissipate the smoke and enhance the effectiveness of aerial resources.
On Sunday, a total of 281 water discharges, amounting to 405,400 liters, were conducted by the firefighting resources.
The Island Council of La Palma and the security forces have agreed to relax the restrictions on the LP-1 road. Although it will generally remain closed from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., residents needing to access their homes during the night will be allowed accompanied. The affected municipalities have already begun assessing the damages, particularly to homes and services, to prepare reports for potential aid requests.
Furthermore, the Guardia Civil is investigating the possible origin of the fire in Puntagorda, with initial hypotheses suggesting “human carelessness,” according to Sergio Rodríguez, the president of The Island Council, in an interview with Onda Cero. The weather conditions have significantly improved, but there are still two active flanks, one in the Caldera area and the other behind Tijarafe.
The Government of the Canary Islands has lifted the forest fire risk alert in El Hierro, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and most parts of La Palma, except for the affected area.
MINISTER LINKS THE FIRE ON LA PALMA TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Teresa Ribera, the third vice-president and minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, has linked the devastating fire in La Palma to heatwaves caused by climate change. Emphasizing the importance of allocating all available resources to fight the fire, including seaplanes and the UME, she stressed the need to focus on preparation and anticipation of climate change impacts, particularly the increased impact of fires during heatwaves.