17 Aug, 2023 @ 01:07
1 min read

Forest fire in Spain’s Tenerife remains ‘out of control’: Huge 22km inferno has torn through at least 1,800 hectares as firefighters work through the night and homes are evacuated

A FOREST fire tearing through Tenerife remains ‘out of control’ after destroying more than 1,800 hectares of land across some 22km. 

The inferno has been raging since late on Tuesday evening, but despite firefighters battling on two fronts – the northeast and northwest – it was still not contained as late on Wednesday night. 

The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, said in a statement: “It has been a tough day. The scenario is not positive. Although progress is being slow, we have not managed to get it under control before the end of the day.”

Some 270 firefighting troops were deployed on Wednesday, including security and logistics and 14 aircraft. 

The inferno has been raging since late on Tuesday evening, but despite firefighters battling on two fronts – the northeast and northwest – it was still not contained as late on Wednesday night. (Twitter)

Overnight, the team will consist of 258 firefighters on the ground who will focus on preventing the fire from further advancing. 

Meanwhile defences are urgently being erected in the area south of the flames in a bid to protect the two nearby towns.

Overnight and on Thursday, two more seaplanes will arrive, meaning a total of 17 aerial units.

The Canarian president explained that the aircraft are not acting at all times because “the crew must be given breaks.” 

“There are usually between four and five air assets continuously acting,” he said.

Making the task the more difficult, the blaze has now reached several areas that are impossible to reach by land or air. 

The fire crews are in a race against time to put out the inferno, with temperatures expected to rise again on Sunday. 

“In these two days we have to work very intensely,” said Mr Clavijo. 

Several houses in Igueste de Candelaria and the upper area of Araya, in Tenerife, have been evicted due to the forest fire that started in the municipality of Arafo and has already spread to the bordering areas of La Victoria and Santa Úrsula.

This evacuation is in addition to the one already carried out in the population centers of Arrate, Chivisaya, Media Montaña and Ajafona and those carried out in several houses above kilometer 3 of the TF-523, as well as a dozen houses in Las Lagunetas, reports El Diario. 

A shelter has been set up for these displaced persons at the Andrés Orozco School in Arafo, although most of people have relocated to relatives’ houses.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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