“Massive Fire Ravages Over 2,600 Hectares in Canary Islands: Most Complex Blaze in Decades”
Since Tuesday evening, residents of the Canary Islands have been facing a massive fire that has already ravaged over 2,600 hectares on the Spanish island of Tenerife. The president of the regional government described it as “probably the most complex” fire in the last few decades in the archipelago.
Historical. The president of the regional government declared that the fire, which has already ravaged over 2,600 hectares on the Spanish island of Tenerife, is “probably the most complex” in recent decades in the Canary Islands.
Located off the west coast of Africa, the archipelago has been plagued by flames since Tuesday evening. The fire is raging in a wooded area and ravines in the northeastern part of the island. Over 2,600 hectares have burned across a perimeter of over 30 kilometers, according to the latest report from authorities.
On Thursday morning, the government imposed a lockdown on the town of La Esperanza, in the municipality of Rosario, while about ten small villages or hamlets in this tourist area were evacuated as a precaution. Approximately 7,600 people in total are affected.
The fire, which has already ravaged over 2,600 hectares on the Spanish island of Tenerife, is “probably the most complex” in recent decades in the Canary Islands, located off the west coast of Africa, according to the president of the regional government.
“The night was very tough This fire is probably the most complex we have had in the Canary Islands at least in the past 40 years,” said Fernando Clavijo, the president of the archipelago’s government, during a press conference in Tenerife. “The extreme heat and weather conditions complicate the work of the firefighters,” he added.
Over 250 people, along with 17 aircraft, are mobilized against the flames. The Military Emergency Unit (UME), which regularly assists firefighters in combating the most voracious or dangerous fires for the population, has been deployed.
“A new detachment from the UME is expected to arrive in the afternoon,” Fernando Clavijo added, bringing the number of mobilized soldiers to over 200, according to the Ministry of Defense.
“We are facing a fire like we have never seen before in the Canary Islands,” said meteorologist Vicky Palma during the press conference, referring to a record smoke column and a continuous burning duration of 34 hours.
Local authorities have closed the roads leading to the mountains in the northeast of the island. “We ask the population to respect all these barriers,” said Montserrat Román, the head of the Civil Protection Department of the archipelago, on Wednesday.
The fire comes after a heatwave that affected the Canary Islands, leaving many areas dry and increasing the risk of forest fires.
According to scientists, extreme weather events have intensified due to global warming. Heatwaves are likely to become more frequent and intense, with a wider impact.
In 2022, 300,000 hectares were destroyed by over 500 fires in Spain, a record in Europe, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (Effis). Over 71,000 hectares have already burned in 2023 in this country, at the forefront of climate change.