Seemingly, the much-discussed dark tunnel has lost its momentum. With due precautions in place, the fire that has been ravaging Tenerife since Tuesday night (at 23:36 hours) is showing signs of waning, and the Canary Islands Government expresses confidence in its potential stabilization today.
This optimistic outlook was conveyed yesterday by Rosa Dávila, President of the Tenerife Island Council, accompanied by Vice-President and acting Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, as well as the head of the regional Executive, Fernando Clavijo. These officials once again emphasized the collective efforts of those who, in their respective roles, have been combating the flames.
However, this cautious optimism doesn’t imply that the island has entirely overcome the catastrophe it has faced in recent days. Yesterday’s assessment revealed that nearly 15,000 hectares have been consumed by the fire, with a perimeter spanning 90 kilometers. Approximately 3,000 hectares of the Teide National Park and around 10,000 hectares of forest land have been affected. The toll on biodiversity is substantial, although it could have been even more severe.
THE AREA AFFECTED BY THE FIRE IN TENERIFE: A “CATASTROPHIC” ZONE
Yesterday, the Island Council of Tenerife authorized the initiation of procedures for declaring the island as an area profoundly impacted by a civil protection emergency, thereby designating it a catastrophic zone. A significant portion of fire-fighting operations took place in the upper region of Güímar, specifically in the area known as Mal Abrigo. Despite this progress, various hotspots persist in this area, capable of rekindling due to persistently high temperatures.
Efforts to combat the fire, as underlined by Manuel Miranda, the Canary Islands Government’s Minister of Territorial Policy, are far from achieving full control. The objective has been to secure the area, prevent the resurgence of hotspots, and manage the situation in the north of La Esperanza (El Rosario), El Sauzal, La Matanza, and the Orotava Valley. Pedro Martínez, head of the Forestry Management Service of the Tenerife Island Council, provided insights into these efforts.
One uplifting development yesterday was that 75% of the evacuees, totaling more than 8,300 individuals, have been permitted to return home. Evacuations from several areas including Tacoronte, El Sauzal, and Santa Ursula concluded yesterday.
Federico Grillo, the Director of Emergencies at the Island Council de Gran Canaria, noted that the fire’s potential has diminished to almost nothing, reassuring that the affected area won’t face complete devastation. The species will adapt, and the landscapes will recover, a testament to the island’s historical resilience.