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Forest fires in Tenerife already cover 11,600 hectares

Forest fires in Tenerife already cover 11,600 hectares

Wildfires on the Canary Island of Tenerife, popular with holidaymakers, are still out of control after five days. The fire has so far covered around 11,600 hectares, the Canary Emergency Service announced late yesterday afternoon. This corresponds to an area of ​​16,000 good football fields. Canary Islands Prime Minister Fernando Clavijo had earlier stated that the southern front of the fire was now “very stable”. The Northern Fire District is alarming.

“The night went much better than expected and restored some normalcy and calm,” the fire brigade said on Twitter (X).

12,000 people had to leave their homes

According to official estimates, the number of people who had to leave their homes because of the fire in the north and north-east of the island is more than 12 thousand people. This estimate is based on the population size of the 11 affected communities. Initially, a spokeswoman for the authorities spoke of about 26,000 people affected by the evacuations yesterday. This figure was later revised significantly downwards. No injured or destroyed homes were initially reported.

Police suspect arson

It is believed that the fire was caused by arson. In any case, the Spanish police now see this as proven. Canary Islands Prime Minister Fernando Clavijo said at a news conference. The Civil Guard Police Unit is currently pursuing three investigation axes in this context. He hopes that the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators will be caught soon. They would have endangered the lives of thousands of people and material goods.

According to the Canary Emergency Service, the flames were fought by more than 340 emergency services last night. After daybreak, she added, firefighting planes and helicopters would come back again. The number was increased from 19 to 23 yesterday.

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“We hope that we will be able to control the fire in the next few days if the weather cooperates,” said Spanish Prime Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska at the end of his visit to Tenerife. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a visit to the island. According to the heads of government of the Canary Islands, this is one of the worst fires in Tenerife over the past 40 years.