Tenerife fire declared as stabilised: situation well under control

Concurrent with the conclusion of evacuations, the declaration is issued by the Canary Islands government, marking the end of a nine-day battle against the Tenerife blaze.

After a span of ten days and nights, the fire that initially ignited in Arafo on Tuesday, August 15th, at 23:36 hours, subsequently spreading its ferocity to 11 other municipalities across Tenerife, has ultimately reached a state of stabilization. This “remarkable news” was unveiled by Fernando Clavijo, President of the Canary Islands Government, during the latest press briefing held last night at the press room of the Tenerife headquarters of the Emergency and Security Coordination Centre (Cecoes) 1-1-2.

However, amidst the satisfaction permeating yesterday’s gathering, a sense of caution was also underscored, as two critical phases, those of controlling and extinguishing the flames, still lie ahead. As of that juncture, the fire had not extended its perimeter of roughly 90 kilometers over an area spanning approximately 14,750 hectares for the past 48 hours. This acreage equates to 7% of the total expanse occupied by Tenerife within the Atlantic.

Tenerife fire declared as stabilized: situation well under control.

Anticipating possible reactivations, Clavijo stated, “due to high temperatures and the extensive perimeter, we might experience reignitions, but we possess the necessary resources to quell the fire.” “We are confident that by the weekend, we can deliver a nearly definitive blow to the fire and transition into the control phase. Subsequently, we would contemplate downgrading the fire alert level [which currently stands at 2],” added Fernando Clavijo.

Rosa Dávila, President of the Tenerife Cabildo, elucidated that, as part of the de-escalation process signifying the fire’s stabilization, access roads to Teide from the southern part of the island have been reopened. However, the route leading to the forest area, encompassing TF-24, TF-21, and TF-523—the latter commonly referred to as Subida a Los Loros—remain closed.

Dávila emphasized that restrictions on walking along pathways and, naturally, within the devastated regions persist. “De-escalation also applies to personnel numbers, excluding those directly involved in firefighting operations. In other words,” she clarified, “there’s a reduction in firefighting personnel while environmental personnel increases. The island’s president advocated for caution, particularly in light of Aemet’s yellow warning for high temperatures today in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, where temperatures could soar to 34 degrees Celsius on the latter island.


Pedro Martínez, the head of the Forestry Management Service of the Tenerife Island Council, alluded to a pivotal natural element in the battle against the flames, one that will remain crucial in the future: the monteverde. “Monteverde formations retain a significant amount of moisture within, rendering ignition more challenging. Upon reaching these formations, the fire’s intensity diminishes, providing us with a window to respond.” For this reason, the Cabildo expert stressed the importance of continuously reinforcing a monteverde line within the mountains, which, moreover, serves as a buffer between inhabited areas and pine forests.

Montse Román, the head of the Civil Protection and Emergency Response Service of the Canary Islands Government, confirmed that the final batch of 237 individuals, among nearly 13,000 evacuees alongside 437 pets, were able to return to their homes yesterday across the municipalities of El Sauzal, Tacoronte, Santa Úrsula, and La Orotava. The only areas still under evacuation were a portion of Las Lagunetas within El Sauzal and Izaña in La Villa. Nevertheless, no one remains displaced due to the fire.

Last night, a total of 115 personnel were actively engaged in fire suppression efforts, a number projected to rise to approximately 200 today, complemented by 15 aerial intervention units and a coordination unit.

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