SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE – The forest fire in Tenerife has flared up again at various points. These resurgences have led to the evacuation of 7 homes. This was reported by the directorate of the forest fire service Infoca on Sunday.
Firefighting operations remain very intense over the entire 90-kilometer radius. However, Infoca does report that the work is progressing favourably. The service mainly focuses on the most problematic areas.
In the night from Saturday to Sunday, the fire flare-ups were recorded in the following areas;
- La Esperanza
- the municipality of El Rosario
- the viewpoint of La Atalaya, in Santa Úrsula
As a result, the preventive evacuation of a residence in Las Rosas, El Rosario, and six houses in the upper part of Vera del Barranco street in Santa Úrsula was carried out. This is because the only escape route for the residents was in the direction of the fire area.
The forest fire in Tenerife has been in the stabilisation phase since August 24. This means it is developing within the established control lines and that the extinguishing efforts are focused on controlling it. This has ensured that the units of the Military Emergency Service (UME) have been able to withdraw to their bases.
For Sunday, 94 ground crews from the forest brigades of the Cabildo de Tenerife and the EIRIF and urban firefighting teams are planned, as well as eight aviation assets targeting between Santa Úrsula and La Matanza. Since the start of the fire until Saturday, air resources have conducted 7,277 water discharges in various areas, using more than 13 million gallons of water in total.
Concerns about air quality in La Orotava
The air quality was unfavourable on Sunday in the mobile station of Chasna, in higher parts of the municipality of La Orotava. Consequently, the population was advised to continue to take protective measures. This includes wearing an FFP2 mask and avoiding being outside for a long period of time.
National Park El Teide still closed
Access to El Teide National Park remains closed via TF-24 (La Esperanza), TF-21 (La Orotava) and TF-523 (ramp to Los Loros). All accesses to the forest area and the hiking trails are also closed to prevent risks to the population. Access to the emergency area, which covers more than 14,000 hectares, is also prohibited.
In this regard, Infoca’s Technical Directorate recalls the importance of caution and emphasises that in the municipalities affected by the fire, there is no access to the forest. In addition, no activities may be carried out. There is still a major intervention operation in the area and it is essential that the roads remain clear for swift action if necessary.
Five years needed to restore the burnt area
Initial estimates suggest that the vegetation destroyed by the fire in Tenerife will take at least five years to recover. The experts point out that the actual damage can only be calculated once the fire has ended. They emphasise the need for an ecological restoration to regenerate the vegetation. The fire – which authorities say was deliberately lit – has destroyed nearly 15,000 hectares across 12 municipalities.
It takes five years to restore part of biodiversity
The impact of the fire on the island’s ecosystem is still difficult to determine, according to experts. El Teide, one of the areas affected by the fire, is the largest natural park on the island and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007. The damage to the vegetation there has been quite uneven. some areas are completely destroyed, others are still intact and everything in between. Experience shows that it takes five years to restore part of the biodiversity and 30 to 40 years to have the same ecosystem as there was before the fire.