Tenerife: Wildfire slows down, no new evacuations

World Saturday 19/August/2023 08:33 AM
By: DW
Tenerife: Wildfire slows down, no new evacuations

A wildfire that has blanketed much of the Spanish island of Tenerife with smoke and ash slowed its advance overnight, authorities said on Friday.

Fernando Clavijo, regional leader of the Canary Islands, said there were no more evacuations overnight and officials were considering lifting restrictions on almost 4,000 residents who had been ordered to stay home.

A further 3,000 residents in the area had been evacuated.

"This night at least the fire and the weather behaved normally," Clavijo told at a news conference. He added, "In the two previous nights the wind, temperatures and the behavior of the fire were highly unusual."

Nearly 500 firefighters and soldiers backed by 17 aerial units were drafted in to tackle the ferocious blaze, Spain's interior ministry said.

Fire burned for three days

The wildfire broke out on Wednesday in a mountainous national park around the Mount Teide volcano — Spain's highest peak — and has burned through nearly 4,000 hectares (9,900 acres) of vegetation, although no houses have been destroyed.

Officials said the blaze advanced more slowly and predictably overnight and that favorable weather made it easier for crews to tackle the flames.

About 450 firefighters and soldiers backed by 16 aircraft were battling the blaze.

Clavijo has added this is the "most complex" wildfire in the Canary Islands "in at least the past 40 years" because of the topography of the area, high temperatures and winds that changed directions frequently.