Two-wheeled vehicles, including motorbikes and bicycles, as well as buses over 12 meters in length, will continue to be restricted from accessing Las Cañadas del Teide until at least December. This restriction allows for the use of southern roads for access, with the return route being the same roads, as confirmed by Dámaso Arteaga, the Island Council‘s Roads Councillor. To enhance safety on the fire-damaged roads, the Island Council plans to invest more than two million euros in installing new safety barriers covering a total of 17 kilometers.
Vehicle users are permitted to use all roads, provided they do not exceed 50 kilometers per hour on the TF-523, from Arafo to the junction with the TF-24, the TF-24, which connects La Esperanza to El Portillo, and the TF-21, which stretches from La Orotava to El Portillo. The wooden protections that were damaged in the fire have been removed for safety reasons. Additionally, forest tracks remain closed for environmental work, as they suffered significant damage during the fire that began on August 15th in Arafo, affecting 15,000 hectares across 12 municipalities.
Councillor Dámaso Arteaga noted that there were supply challenges in obtaining safety barriers in the Canary Islands, and they have been ordered from two mainland companies. Installation is scheduled to take place between October and November, with the completion of the barrier deployment expected by December. The affected roads, particularly the TF-24 and TF-21, will require the installation of both wooden and metal barriers, with the total cost exceeding two million euros, as specified in the emergency works order.
Arteaga emphasized the significance of these safety barriers, both wooden and metal, on these roads. He cited statistics from the Guardia Civil, stating that these barriers have prevented 24 out of 29 accidents from vehicles going off the road in the last two years. Given the absence of these barriers now, he stressed the importance of adhering to the recommended speed limit of 50 kilometers per hour, given the inherent risks of off-road accidents at these elevations.
Regarding the recent landslide incident in Las Lajas on the TF-5 road, between Icod de los Vinos and El Tanque, Arteaga acknowledged its relevance. A slope landslide occurred unexpectedly, which had not previously happened in that area, unlike other sections of the same road near Los Realejos and San Juan de la Rambla. The incident involved four cars, one of which caught fire, although there were no serious injuries. The road was closed for cleanup work on that night and reopened on Sunday afternoon.