Canary islands suffer wildfires
Wildfires in the Canary Islands haved forced the evacuation of thousands of residents.
Fires on the Canary islands of La Gomera and Tenerife have led to the evacuation of more than 4,000 residents and the cutting off of many roads as precautionary measures, the regional government said.
As of yesterday afternoon, residents were being kept out of 18 towns and villages - eight on Tenerife and 10 on La Gomera. The fires are also threatening some of Spain’s most treasured national parks, including a Unesco world heritage site.
Regional officials said there was evidence that the fire on La Gomera was started deliberately as it had two focal points two miles apart that began burning within a short time of each other.
A statement said firefighting crews working on the islands were “finding it difficult to limit the spread of fire”.
Aircraft that were previously dousing the fires with water when they first broke out a week ago were sent away as it was thought the fire was under control, but winds and high temperatures have helped rekindle the flames, an official said.
The island is 850 miles off the coast of the mainland, so it can take up to a day for firefighting planes to return after being sent back to Spain’s southwestern tip.
A hot summer has followed a dry winter in Spain, with temperatures reaching 44 degrees in southern areas in recent days. The state meteorological agency has warned of “a high risk of fires in the country”.
Regional governments reported 10 wildfires raging across Spain yesterday. Fires in Spain and other Mediterranean countries damage hundreds of thousands of acres every year.