MORE THAN 8,000 evacuees from a wildfire that has devastated forests on Tenerife for more than a week were able to return home as the blaze has been brought under control, authorities said on Wednesday.

The news comes after the Guardia Civil has disputed claims that arson may have been the cause of the blaze.

The fire has destroyed almost 15,000 hectares of woodland within the national park surrounding the Mount Teide volcano.

Around 3,000 residents have yet to be allowed back to their homes.The fire is largely under control, except in one area in Guimar, but there are hot spots which authorities say could activate during the hottest periods of the day.

Twenty aircraft will continue to control the fire, which has a perimeter of more than 80 kilometres.

Meanwhile Guardia Civil sources have told El Pais that they don’t have any evidence yet to show the fire was caused by arson- contrary to statements made by Canary Islands president, Fernando Clavijo.

“To this day, there is no element that allows us to conclude, even if it is for an indication, or that it has been provoked, or that it is due to any recklessness or natural causes,” said Guardia sources.

The sources said investigations to find out the cause are ‘complex and require a lot of time’ and despite major resources being put into the probe it is still at a very early phase.

“We call on public officials to be prudent and cautious when making public statements that may affect the investigation,” the sources said.

El Pais has contacted the Canary Islands government which has refused to comment on what their source told them.

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