canary islands

“Uncontrolled wildfire” consumes core of Tenerife’s forests

The wildfire that ignited on Tuesday night on Tenerife, at the peak of Arafo, has ravaged 1,800 hectares across the mountainous areas of Candelaria, La Victoria, and Santa Úrsula. This catastrophe has also led to the displacement of 150 individuals.

The Tenerife wildfire remains uncontrollable. Over 1,600 hectares of land have been consumed by the flames since the outbreak last Tuesday at approximately 23:36 hours in Arafo. According to Fernando Clavijo, President of the Canary Islands Government, this figure was from late afternoon, implying that by the time of the briefing last night in the Emergency and Security Coordination Centre (Cecoes) 1-1-2, Government of the Canary Islands, the affected area might have already reached 1,800 hectares.


While the pace of the fire’s advance has slowed, Clavijo mentioned that the goal of gaining control over the fire, spreading on both the northeast and northwest fronts, had yet to be achieved. At the time of reporting, the fire had encircled a perimeter of 22 kilometers.

FIRE IN TENERIFE: FOUR MUNICIPALITIES

Recent data, as shared by Montse Román, head of the Civil Protection and Emergency Response Service of the Canary Islands Government, indicated that the fire had ravaged 869 hectares in Arafo, 684 hectares in Candelaria, and after crossing the ridge in the northern region of the island, 20 hectares in Santa Ursula and 31 hectares in La Victoria de Acentejo. Nevertheless, Pedro Martínez, head of the Forestry Management Service of the Cabildo de Tenerife, noted that the fire was advancing at a slower pace in these last two cases.

Fernando Clavijo acknowledged the challenges faced yesterday with 250 ground troops and 14 aerial resources tirelessly working under tough conditions. He expressed his gratitude towards these dedicated individuals, as well as local authorities for their solidarity and resources. Clavijo also thanked various security forces, the Red Cross for its active involvement in setting up accommodations for evacuees and assisting with logistics, and highlighted that around 150 people were evacuated yesterday.

Fire is out of control in Tenerife.

In Candelaria alone, about 100 residents were relocated, with most finding refuge in the homes of friends and family. Only four people spent the night at designated shelters – two at the Andrés Orozco School Pavilion in Arafo and two at the Punta Larga Municipal Pavilion in Candelaria.

With dusk, aerial efforts ceased temporarily due to the fading light, but the regional executive assured that a defense strategy was in place for the night to halt the fire’s progress and protect the southern areas. Clavijo emphasized the significance of the upcoming night for the fire’s evolution and announced that more than 200 personnel would be on duty in the affected zones.

Considering the weather forecast for the upcoming days, Clavijo mentioned that while rain is not anticipated, temperatures will be lower and humidity higher. However, a substantial change in these conditions is predicted for Sunday, underscoring the importance of all possible measures to curb the fire’s advance before then.

Rosa Dávila, President of the Cabildo, acknowledged the challenges of tackling the fire, especially in the steep terrains, and reiterated the ban on public access to the mountains for safety reasons. Further coordination and briefing meetings are scheduled, with additional seaplanes joining firefighting efforts, and the need for vigilance and caution among the population was emphasized.


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