This post is being used for all forest fire updates currently affecting the islands of Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera in the Canary Islands. We will update as and when we have more news relating to this story. Follow us on Twitter @canariesnews for additional updates. You may also like to download our Android App from the Google Play market, just search for “Canaries News”.
Update 22/07/2012 – 08:40 – This post is now closed for updates. Please visit THIS PAGE for the latest forest fires in Tenerife and La Gomera in August 2012.
Update 20/07/2012 – 10:40 – The fire in Tenerife remains active in the area of Guia de Isora, extinguising the fire is being hampered by the terrain. The prospects for stabilising the fire today are positive. The president of the Cabildo, Ricardo Melchior, has asked the population to avoid going to the mountain areas this weekend because of the risk of new fires starting.
Update 19/07/2012 – 13:40 – Residents of Vilaflor, Ifonche and Tijoco Alto are being allowed to return to their homes and the roads to these areas have been opened. It is reported that up to 1% of Tenerifes forests have been damaged by the fires. Over 5,200 hectares have been affected and over 1,000 hectares have been burnt down which is estimated to take over 50 years to recover.
Update 19/07/2012 – 09:40 – The forest fire situation seems to have improved slightly overnight and through this morning with some residents being able to return to their homes. Over 2,000 people were evacuated from the area of Vilaflor yesterday and it is reported that they may be able to return to their homes at around 14:00 today. The fire continues to be very active in the areas of Vilaflor and Guia de Isora, where there is a danger that it may jump over into the Santiago del Teide area. The fire is now reported to have damaged over 5,00 hectares of land which is reported to take over 50 years to recover from this disaster. The following roads continue to be closed to traffic in Tenerife: TF-567 from km1 to km3; TF 583, TF 585, from Tijoco to km6, TF-38 from Chio to Boca Tauce, up to km22; TF-21 from Vilaflor to Boca Tauce, TF-51 from km15 to km17 due to low visibility and TF-563, from km7 onwards.
Update 19/07/2012 – 06:40 – Fire fighters have contained the fire in the Vilaflor area, just 100 metres away from the village and have stabilised the one affecting Guia de Isora and the Tenerife council has stated that if conditions do not change, today could see the last day of fire in Tenerife but the smouldering could continue for weeks with the possibility of the fire re-igniting should the conditions change.
Update 18/07/2012 – 22:40 – In a recent press conference it has been quoted that there is no danger for the residents of Guia de Isora. Residents of Taucho and La Quinta have been allowed to return to their homes, but the residents of Vilaflor have not yet allowed to return to the homes due to the fire threat which is still not under control.
Update 18/07/2012 – 19:10 – The Mayor of Guía de Isora, Pedro Martín, has contacted the president of the Canary Islands Government, Paulino Rivero, to request more support by air to intervene immediately. Mr. Martin has stated that there is a “real posibility” that the fire could extend over the Chio mountain and affect the large pine forest of Santiago del Teide, which links to the north of Tenerife. A group of volunteer firemen of Santiago del Teide are helping extinguish the fire in Guía de Isora are having problems due to a change in fire conditions.
Update 18/07/2012 – 17:10 – The fire in La Palma, which is reported to be under control since 12:20 today, is reported to have destroyed 11 houses in the area of El Paso. Over 100 people were evacuated from their homes in a fire which has so far affected over 900 hectares.
Update 18/07/2012 – 14:50 – According to the President of the Tenerife council, Ricardo Melchior, “the forest fires will be under control except in the areas of Guia de Isora”. he went on to say that “the outlook around midday looked better than in the early hours of the morning thanks to a drop in the wind conditions” and that despite the fires soon coming under control, it will take weeks for the fires to totally extinguish.
Update 18/07/2012 – 13:50 – The forest fire in La Palma is reported to now be under control.
Update 18/07/2012 – 12:50 – The fire is currently very active and out of control in Guia de Isora, Tenerife. It has slowed down in the area of Vilaflor around the football stadium where the fire is expected to be under control later on this afternoon.
Update 18/07/2012 – 12:50 – Hydroplanes have started to operate over the area of Chirche in the municipality of Guia de Isora in the south-west of Tenerife.
Update 18/07/2012 – 10:50 – The fire in Tenerife has now reached the football stadium in the town of Vilaflor and also the town hall of Guia de Isora has recommended the eviction of the town of Chirche. The Guía de Isora town hall is advising residents of Chirche, the highest village in the municipality, to abandon their homes before the fire progresses to this area.
Update 18/07/2012 – 08:50 – The focus of forest fires in the south of Tenerife which started on Sunday and were approaching the town of Vilaflor, which saw 1,800 people evicted from their homes, has been stabilised, according to sources of the Canary Islands Government. The fire began on Sunday in an area of orchards in this town and has spread up to a perimeter of over 2,000 hectares has also covered the municipalities of Adeje and Guía de Isora. The inability to gain control of this fire front caused the evacuation of the residents of Vilaflor and most of them have spent the night with family with only 40 peopel having to spend the night in the Granadilla sports hall. A press conference is due shortly to report on the evolution of forest fire on Tenerife which is scheduled to have 11 aircraft, including three seaplanes, during today (Wednesday).
Update 17/07/2012 – 20:50 – The fires in Tenerife have now affected over 2,000 hectares, while the fire in La Palam has claimed over 900 hectares of land, according to recent figures.
Update 17/07/2012 – 18:50 – A fire fighter has been seriously injured when a fire engine suffered an accident on the TF-1 in Arico. Meanwhile high waves are hampering the hydroplanes attempts at collecting more water and are having to divert to Tenerifes Reina Sofia airport to get water from there.
Update 17/07/2012 – 16:50 – Over 1.800 residents of Vilaflor on the island of Tenerife are being evacuated due to the fires. The evacuated people are being transported to the Pabellón de Granadilla. Titsa buses are being provided for those who do not have their own transport.
Update 17/07/2012 – 13:50- High temperatures, of up to 39.7C are predicted for today, which are said to hamper the attempts of controlling the forest fires.
Update 17/07/2012 – 12:30 – It has been confirmed that the forest fires raging throug hthe island of Tenerife have now entered the Parque Nacional del Teide via the municipality of La Orotava.
Update 17/07/2012 – 10:30 – The council of La Gomera has confirmed that the forest fire on that island is now under control. The fire that started at 18:30 yesterday (Monday 16th July 2012) in the town of de San Borondón, in Alojera, municipality of Vallehermoso. The fire has destroyed 8 hectares and various farms.
Update 17/07/2012 – 10:30 – The forest fire on the island of La Gomera is reported as under control, while the situation in La Palma and Tenerife is similar to yesterday while the fire fighters await the deployment of the hydroplanes this morning. In the case of Tenerife there has been significant progress in controlling the fire. The fire on the island of La Palma burns from three sides where the one burning from the Eastern front is the greatest concern because it is close to the populated area of Tacande.
Update 17/07/2012 – 07:20 – Up to 160 people now evacuated from the island of La Palma. The fire is reaching the village of El Paraiso and the residents have been evacuated as over 400 hectares have been affected by the fire.
Update 17/07/2012 – 07:00 – Up to 60 people have now been evacuated from their homes on the island of La Gomera afecting the area of Vallehermoso. Meanwhile, three hydroplanes have arrived to help the task of extinguishing the fire of Tenerife which is still not under control and is threatening the area of municipality of Guia de Isora.
Update 16/07/2012 – 21:00 – A small fire has been declared in the area of Alajeró in La Gomera. For now, reports suggest that it not significant, but the high temperatures, strong winds that rages in the area, consisting of palm trees and grasses, could make the fire spread quickly.
Update 16/07/2012 – 20:10 – 110 military service people are being sent from the mainland to Tenerife North where they will then be allocated to help the fire fighting in Tenerife and La Palma.
Update 16/07/2012 – 16:10 – The fire in Tenerife continues through the west of Vilaflor and is only 500 metres away from the Parque Nacional del Teide. A fire fighter has suffered burns to his hands in La Palma where two cars have been destroyed by the fire and is heading to the populated area of Tacande. An alert has been raised for high temperatures for the islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Gomera and El Hierro.
Update 16/07/2012 – 15:20 – It is now estimated that over 1,800 hectares are affected by the forest fires with over 900 hectares now burnt in fires which started yesterday and are still not under control. This comes at a time when the Canary Islands are on a maximum alert due to the extreme heat, San Bartolome de Tirajana has registered temperatures over 39,7 degrees centigrade today. Over 120 people are also working to control a fire which has broken out on the island of La Palma.
Update 16/07/2012 – 14:40 – Up to 90 people are now reported to have been evacuated from their homes on the island of Tenerife. The Canarian Government been advised tour operators not to access Teide on the access roads from the South of the island. According to official sources, the two main fire fronts are spreading in a “dangerous and uncontrolled” mannor from Vilaflor to Montana Roja and Guia de Isora. The fire originated around 14:30 yesterday in the Barranco del Infierno area of Adeje.
Update 16/07/2012 – 14:22 – A fire has now been declared on the island of La Palma. The emergency 112 services reports that there is a fire in El Paso, on the island of La Palma. The alert was received at 11:47. Two houses have been evicted and the emergency services has recommended more people to leave their homes though the extend of the fire is still unknown. The Cabildo of Gran Canaria has sent a helicopter, two ground vehicles and a unit of ten people to assist with the fire fighting.
Update 16/07/2012 – 12:28 – The forest fire in the south of Tenerife, which has already affected a perimeter of approximately 1,200 hectares and has estimated to have burnt around 400 hectares has two active fronts. The fire affects the municipalities of Adeje and Adeje while Guía de Isora and Arona are on alert. During the night there was no wind so the emergency services were able to work with more ease, enabling the flames to not propagate quickly. There are five helicopters taking part, two of them have come from La Palma and another one will come from Gran Canaria.
Update 16/07/2012 – 11:28 – The affected area is currently stated to be approximately 1,200 hectares, of which between 300 and 400 hectares have been damaged by fire.
Update 16/07/2012 – 08:28 – The forest fires which started on the island of Tenerife yesterday (Sunday, 15th July 2012) is currently affecting around 1,200 hectares and has two active fronts. The Tenerife Cabildo sources have informed that the left front of the fire presents an intense fire and the emergency services are working to prevent it from reaching the populated areas that were evacuated yesterday. The Emergency Military services will join 3 fire fighting helicopters this morning in addition to the four already working on the extinction since yesterday in the surface affecting the municipalities of Vilaflor and Adeje. The fire started just after 13.00 yesterday in an area of Vilaflor and 50 people were evacuated from their homes in the towns of Infoche, La Quinta and Taucho.