The main objective that the troops working on the Tenerife fire will pursue this morning is to tackle the areas that are most at risk of spreading and control the areas where outbreaks are reactivated. Current data reflects that the affected area now amounts to 12,813 hectares and covers 90 kilometers.
Tenerife, in suspense before the most complex fire of the last 40 years: “It breaks my heart to see the mountain like this”
A moderately “calm” night is expected with winds between 10 and 15 kilometers per hour, which will favor the extinction work.
If the weather conditions continue, more air resources will be assigned to the Mal Abrigo area first thing in the morning, which is one of the areas of greatest concern. During the night, 379 troops will work in the affected areas, which means an increase of 36 people.
For his part, the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, explained: “It is crucial to contain tonight. The lines of the houses are well defended and it is expected to contain the night and give a push. He also recalled that the fire continues to have potential even though some areas have cooled.
The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife has wanted to call for calm and has valued the collaboration of the citizens: “We are on the fifth day of the fire and we understand the frustration of the population, who fear for their homes but we have to say that it is very important that they follow the indications of the State Security Corps and Forces”.
Currently, a possible evacuation is being evaluated in Fasnia and Arico due to the effect that the winds would have during this night. It will be this Monday when it is finally assessed whether to move the neighbors to a safer place. In addition, the upper area of Güímar remains under constant surveillance since they tried to work this Sunday afternoon but the fire “expelled” the troops.
According to the head of Civil Protection of the Government of the Canary Islands, Montserrat Román, all the residents of the municipality of Candelaria have been able to return to their homes after five days evacuated by the flames. The residents of Arafo will also be able to access, except for those on Camino Juan Leal and Pinalete.
For his part, the Minister of Territorial Policy of the Government of the Canary Islands, Manuel Miranda, explained this Sunday afternoon that the fire presents in general terms a favorable evolution in some aspects. Despite this, he also recommends prudence with respect to the messages that are sent to society. In addition, he wanted to make an appeal for the population to respect the security measures and recalled the prohibition to enter the evacuated areas without exposing their case to the security forces so that they accompany them and assess the situation: “It should never be done random, that has occurred and endangers the integrity of people and those who have to go looking for them”.
The fire was intentional
For his part, the president of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, has confirmed this Sunday that the forest fire declared in Tenerife last Tuesday was intentional and has specified that the Civil Guard maintains three lines of investigation.
Clavijo at a press conference said that although from the beginning it was suspected that it was an arson attack, the investigations by the Civil Guard have confirmed it.
The President of the Canary Islands has hoped that the author or authors of the fire, which began in the Arafo mountains with several outbreaks, will be arrested and has regretted all the damage they have caused, in addition to endangering the lives of thousands of people. Regarding the complaint against three people who yesterday jumped the perimeter in the Las Lagunetas area, apparently to gain access to a house, Clavijo has indicated that they have been identified and has hoped that a double sanction will be imposed on them through criminal proceedings and the administrative way.
“Not only are they endangering their lives but also those of the people who have to rescue them,” stressed Clavijo, who indicated that despite this episode the behavior of the population “has been exemplary”
Evacuation of the Parador Nacional de Las Cañadas del Teide
In addition, the General Directorate of Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands has ordered this Sunday the evacuation of the Parador Nacional de Las Cañadas del Teide, located in the municipality of La Orotava.
The establishment is located in the heart of the Teide National Park, at more than 2,000 meters above sea level in front of the highest peak in Spain and which, with its exclusive species of fauna and flora, is an ideal place for nature lovers, hiking, volcanology and astronomy.
No great material losses to be regretted
The work last night of the firefighting teams against the forest fire that began on August 15 in Mount Arafo, on the island of Tenerife, has prevented the fire from burning homes. “And according to how the night was planned, it is almost a miracle,” said the president of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo.
Specifically, he pointed out that there was a fire in a tool room or several vehicles, but that although the fire came close to the houses, it was protected and “we are not talking about a house fire”, beyond some condition.
The authorities have clarified that the real number of people evacuated is estimated at 12,279, once the data has been provided by the municipalities and security forces, apart from the census, which reflects a higher figure.
For its part, this Sunday, a total of 20 aerial means will fight during the day against the flames of the forest fire in Tenerife, active since last August 15 and which is out of extinguishing capacity. This has been reported by the Government of the Canary Islands, which adds that, like every day, work from the air has resumed early in the morning.
Air quality remains unfavorable in 19 municipalities
On the other hand, the air quality due to the forest fire remains unfavorable in nineteen municipalities in both the south and north of the island.
The Government of the Canary Islands has issued a bulletin with the declaration of unfavorable air for a territorial area that includes, on the northern slope, the municipalities of Los Realejos, El Sauzal, La Matanza, La Victoria, Santa Úrsula, La Orotava, Puerto de la Cruz, Los Realejos, Buenavista del Norte, Los Silos, Garachico, Icod de los Vinos, La Guancha, San Juan de la Rambla.
To the south, the municipalities are Arafo, Candelaria, Güímar, Fasnia and Arico.
This situation is caused by the smoke from forest fires, which is made up of a mixture of gases and small particles that are emitted by the combustion of vegetation and other materials.
The Government of the Canary Islands advises avoiding permanence abroad and carrying out intense or prolonged physical activities.
It also recommends closing doors, windows and if you have air conditioning, put it in recirculation mode and with clean filters. Outside, the use of an FFP2 mask is recommended to avoid respiratory problems and protect the eyes as much as possible, and wash them if necessary.
For her part, the president of the Cabildo, Rosa Dávila, commented that last night there was the largest deployment in the history of firefighters in Tenerife, with 167 troops who were assigned to defend the homes.