Fines for unauthorized entry into the designated forest fire zone in Tenerife, declared on 15th August, can vary substantially, ranging from a minimum penalty of 1,501 euros to an astronomical maximum of 600,000 euros. This tiered system of financial penalties is outlined in Law 17/2015, dated 9th July, concerning the National Civil Protection System. Within this legislative framework, violations are categorised into minor, serious, and very serious offences.
In the particular case of this forest fire, even the basic act of entering the restricted zone is, at the very least, classified as a serious offence under section b of Article 45.4. Specifically, this clause states that in emergency situations, failure to obey directives, prohibitions, or guidelines from competent authorities or emergency service personnel can lead to substantial fines. In this specific circumstance, fines for serious offences range from the initially mentioned 1,501 euros up to 30,000 euros.
Moreover, the seriousness of the violation escalates to a ‘very serious offence’ if the transgression poses “a significant risk or importance to the safety of individuals or property.” In such instances, the monetary penalties skyrocket, starting at 30,001 euros and going up to the aforementioned cap of 600,000 euros.
Rosa Dávila, the president of the Cabildo of Tenerife, reemphasised the imperative for public sensibility in her announcement yesterday. She cautioned against entering the fire’s perimeter, which devastated nearly 15,000 hectares of forestland in August and remains a site of ongoing fire-fighting activities. Over 110 personnel are actively involved in both extinguishing the flames and rehabilitating pathways and roads in the affected region.
Highlighting the risk involved, Dávila warned that unauthorized entry not only jeopardises the intruder’s safety but also that of emergency workers. She further noted that hazardous operations, like technical fires and tree removal, are conducted in the area, actions that require absolute certainty that no unauthorised persons are present.
In addition to the fire-fighting crew, a team of coordinators and logistics staff continue to manage the emergency response, including aerial support from helicopters. These have been particularly active in recent days, tackling flare-ups, predominantly in the Santa Úrsula area and, to a lesser extent, in the Acentejo and La Orotava regions.
Dávila also pointed out that the Guardia Civil will impose fines on individuals who recklessly choose to enter the restricted area. She concluded by stating that additional Brifor personnel are deployed across the island to monitor and address any new fire outbreaks, underscoring the ongoing nature of the situation.