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Friday, December 8, 2023

Tenerife, Canary Islands. Firefighters “are unable to contain the fire”. Thousands of people evacuated

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Tenerife is fighting a fire that has been consuming part of the island since Tuesday. The fire is spreading rapidly, forcing authorities to order thousands of residents to evacuate; many people are also unable to leave their homes. Firefighters said the situation was critical.

On Tenerife in the Canary Islands archipelago fighting a gigantic fire. Flames appeared on Tuesday in the area of ​​the popular tourist volcano Teide, but due to the hot and windy weather, the fire began to spread quickly.

On Friday, the Spanish armed forces deployed more than 200 soldiers to fight the forest fire. In addition to them, over 200 firefighters equipped with 50 fire engines and 17 firefighting planes also participate in the struggle with the element.

The fire spreads quickly and “out of control”

Spain’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles announced on Friday that the reinforcement of the fire brigades fighting the fire on the Canarian island is due to the fact that the fire in the central part of Tenerife is spreading quickly and “out of control”. “Depending on the needs of the teams fighting the fire, we are ready to send additional forces to Tenerife,” said Robles. She added that the main task of the soldiers is to protect the inhabitants. By Friday afternoon, the fire, which is spreading across eight municipalities of Tenerife, had consumed nearly 4,000 hectares of forest. Nearly 8,000 people had to be evacuated.

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– The fire is spreading practically all over the island – said Jakub Grzela on TVN24. He added that Teide National Park is very dangerous, it is closed to tourists. “From my window you can see an avalanche of smoke slowly descending down the slopes,” he said. “For now, everyone is safe, no one has been hurt,” he added. According to Grzela, the weather is not conducive to fighting the element – the temperature is around 30 degrees, strong wind is blowing.

An interview with a Pole staying in TenerifeTVN24, Contact 24

Worst fire in decades

The head of the autonomous government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, said during a press conference on Thursday that the services fighting the element “are unable to stop the fire and the situation is still out of control”.

“This is the most complex fire we’ve had in our archipelago in 40 years,” Clavijo told reporters.

It’s dry and windy

Local services reported that for security reasons and due to the appearance of “curious tourists” in the fire area, which hindered the work of firefighters, it was necessary to introduce roadblocks on several roads leading to the vicinity of the Teide volcano.

The biggest problem in fighting the element, according to firefighting teams, are strong gusts of wind that change the direction of the fire, as well as a large drying of the litter in the forests of the Canary Island.

Fighting a fire in TenerifePAP/EPA/RAMON DE LA ROCHA

Reporters’ Reports 24

We also received photos from Tenerife on Kontakt 24. Mr. Kuba sent us photos taken on Thursday late evening from the city of Puerto de la Cruz. They show flames reaching the vicinity of the city of La Orotava.

PAP, 20minutos.es, Bomberos de Tenerife, TVN24

Main photo source: contact24UsersMaterials

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