ANP Firefighting aircraft have been deployed to fight the fire
NOS News•today, 15:37•Edited today, 15:39
About 3,800 people have now been evacuated due to the wildfire in Tenerife. The fire that started last Tuesday has spread rapidly over the past 24 hours.
The fire has now destroyed 2600 hectares of land and the perimeter has expanded to 31 kilometers. The fire started in a national park on the northeast of the island, near the volcano Teide. Firefighters are struggling to get the fire under control on the largest island of the Canary Islands. This is partly because the area is difficult to access due to ravines.
This is how the fire in Tenerife started:
Big wildfire in Tenerife
Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo says last night was tough. In the dark, efforts were made to keep the slowly advancing fire away from inhabited areas. According to Clavijo, the wildfire is the most complex fire to hit the islands in the past 40 years.
Tenerife’s chief of emergency services, Pedro Martines, said the blaze had spread to the north and towards a valley where there are several campsites. People in El Rosario and La Orotava had to leave their homes.
Authorities deployed 17 aircraft and 350 firefighters and military personnel. Additional firefighting planes have been sent to the area from mainland Spain. All access roads to the island’s mountains, including the popular Teide among tourists, have been closed. The island’s two airports are open.
Dutch people on the island
Many Dutch people go on holiday to Tenerife, such as Frederike, who does not want to be called by her full name. She currently resides in the tourist resort of Costa Adeje, located on the southwest of the island. “There is no sign of the fire here. Clear blue sky and no burning smell,” she says via Instagram.
Although she doesn’t notice the fire, it is still the talk of the town. “From friends and family we all receive information that shows that the fires are quite serious. We have not heard anything from the hotel where we are, or from the Dutch travel organization with which we booked. We therefore have the impression that it is all it’s okay.”
The Belgian Nele Messiaen has been living in Tenerife for 40 years and has a holiday complex in Costa del Silencio on the south of the island. She also does not see any flames and does not smell any fire, she says on the phone. She is, however, in close contact with the authorities. This way she stays informed of the situation and can take appropriate measures if necessary to keep her guests safe.
The authorities have informed her that people should not panic and that everything is being done to get the fire under control as soon as possible.
“I heard that people on the island should stop driving north to offer help.” According to Messiaen, some came with items to catch and evacuate dogs in the area, for example. But the crowds made it difficult for firefighters to reach the area.
“Now fundraising campaigns, which include collecting dog harnesses, are centrally arranged from the south. The fact that everyone wants to help is typical for Tenerife, people here show great solidarity.”