SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE – The forest fire in Tenerife has been lit. This was confirmed on Sunday by the Guardia Civil, who are looking for those responsible. The fire destroyed nearly 12,000 hectares and led to evacuations in eleven municipalities on the Canary Island.
It was suspected from the start that it was arson. The President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, stressed this and also mentioned the dangers to many lives and those who had to evacuate.
Firefighters evacuated Teide National Park due to smoke during the sixth night of the fire. This meant all guests and staff also had to leave the Parador Hotel on the highest mountain in Spain. However, despite the intense fire, no homes were damaged. This was partly thanks to favourable weather conditions, including rain that helped limit the spread of the fire. Clavijo said the night had started “very hard, with many telephone calls saying the fire was very close to people’s homes”. It was “almost a miracle” that no homes had been destroyed, he added.
However, the president indicated that there is still a lot of work to be done. Especially given the possible rise in temperatures that could complicate firefighting efforts. Spain’s caretaker President, Pedro Sánchez, plans to visit Tenerife to inspect the affected areas together with President Fernando Clavijo and Acting Industry Minister Héctor Gómez.
300 pets taken care of
It is striking that the Red Cross has currently deployed 341 people and has set up four reception centres for more than 300 evacuees. These centres also house nearly 300 pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens and even a goat and a turtle. The Red Cross has also distributed hygiene kits, blankets and thousands of food rations to the sheltered people and firefighters.
In EU Spain was most affected by wildfires this year
After accounting for 40% of land burned in the EU in 2022, Spain is again the EU state most affected by wildfires this year. 75,000 hectares burned in the country, ahead of Italy and Greece, according to the European Forest Fire Information System.