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Update 20/08/2012 @ 08:30 - This post is no longer being used for updates.
Update 17/08/2012 @ 21:30 - All the evacuated residents of La Gomera have now been able to return to their homes while the government announces they have approved monetary aids of up to €4,000 per household and €30,000 for rebuilding homes. The Government has recognised that these fires have caused extensive damage and have had serious consequences. This aid is for the islands of La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife. Meanwhile, four of the seven hydroplanes have now returned to their bases, including those sent from Morocco.
Update 17/08/2012 @ 08:30 - So far 46 houses have been destroyed and another 80 have been damaged in Valle Gray Rey on the island of La Gomera due to the forest fires blazing through the island. Meanwhile temperatures of up to 42C are expected over the 19th, 20th and 21st of August in another heatwave due to hit the islands. The hotel sector has reported a 30% drop in reservations on the island.
Update 16/08/2012 @ 17:30 - It is feared that the upcoming high temperatures over the weekend will hamper the chances of bringing the La Gomera forest fires under control and worse, cause further fires to start. Temperatures are set to reach up to 42C over the coming weekend, which will be the sixth heatwave in the Canary Islands so far this year. Meanwhile, the central government is questioning the Canarian authorities handling of the fires, which are still not under control. This news has not been well received in the Canary Islands as they have been requesting more resources, specifically two hydroplanes, for a long time. Another fire, which has now been extinguished, was declared in the area of Tejina, in La Laguna, in the north of Tenerife.
Update 16/08/2012 @ 08:30 - Yesterday, Wednesday 15th August) there were four new fires on the island of Tenerife, in Los Realejos ,La Esperanza, Aguamansa and Vilaflor (again). Canarian press readers are this morning waking to titles suggestion that there are arsonists on the loose. Yesterdays fires in Tenerife have affected an area over 16 hectares in size. The fire on La Gomera continues to blaze out of control but there are ‘improvements’ according to the authorities.
Update 15/08/2012 @ 21:30 - The forest fires on the island of La Gomera are reported to have ‘slowed down’ but are not yet under control. Most of the people who were evacuated have now returned to their homes, but over people remain evacuated. Meanwhile. another two active fires have been declared on the island of Tenerife, in the area of La Orotava, in the north of the island and in the area of La Montañeta. Roads have been closed as follows, the TF-24 between KM9 and KM24, and also the TF-21 between La Caldera and Portillo.
Update 15/08/2012 @ 08:30 - Seven hydroplanes, six helicopters and over 300 people are working to bring the fire on La Gomera under control. The situation in La Gomera is said to be better today as it enter into the tenth day of forest fires devastaing the island, but the fire is still not under control. Tasks today are to save the village of Vallehermoso, where 1,360 people continue evacuated from their homes. There has been criticism due to the fact that there was no person available at La Gomeras airport to refuel helicopters and the hydroplanes, and someone from Tenerife had to be flown over to carry out these tasks.
Update 14/08/2012 @ 15:30 - The work of extinguishing the forest fire affecting La Gomera is taking a more optimistic turn thanks to lower temperatures and the change in the wind conditions. The fire perimeter covers 1,088 hectares and are currently about 1,100 people who continue to be evacuated from their homes, most from Vallehermoso.
Update 14/08/2012 @ 09:30 -Seven hydroplanes, two of which have been ‘donated’ from Morocco, are now being used to help fight the fire which continues to blaze out of control on the island of La Gomera while over 1,000 people continue to be evacuated from their homes. The government have announced that there is no chance of the fire being declared under control today (Tuesday).
Update 13/08/2012 @ 19:32 - While the fires in Tenerife have reported to now be ‘stabalised’, the one in La Gomera appears to be far from that. Some residents in Vallehermoso and Valle Gran Rey are being allowed to return to their homes. The conditions for the firefighters is said to be slightly better as the temperatures drop slightly but under no means is this fire ‘under control’. There appears to be a lot of criticism towards the central Government who, according to sources in the Canary Islands, have not even called to find out what the current situation is and the Canary Islands government has requested a permanent base for at least two hydroplanes. Morroco has made a hydroplane available to the Canary Islands to assist with the firefighting tasks.
Update 12/08/2012 @ 17:00 – The Tenerife forest fires have been reported as ‘stabalised’ while the ones blazing on the island of La Gomera are far from under control. Officials from the island of La Gomera are quoted as saying ‘if more resources are not sent to help, specifically more hydroplanes, this fire will never be under control’. Meanwhile, temperatures in the Canaries have continued to reach over 40C which are making the tasks of extinguishing the fires much more difficult.
Update 12/08/2012 @ 15:00 – Over 5,000 people have now been evacuated in Tenerife and La Gomera as the forest fires blaze out of control. 13 aircraft are taking part in the firefighting tasks. Seven towns in Tenerife have been evacuated including over 2,000 people from the municipality of Santiago del Teide.
Update 12/08/2012 @ 13:18 – The fires in La Gomera continue to blaze out of control. Temperatures reaching 38C and 50km/h winds are hampering any chance of getting the fire under control. One of the main tasks is preventing one of the three active fronts reaching El Cedro, which has been evacuated.
Update 12/08/2012 @ 09:00 – As the extremely high temperatures affect the Canary Islands hampering any chances of controlling the fires, the following areas of La Gomera have been evacuated: Chipude, Arure, El Cercado, Las Hayas y Guada. In Tenerife, the fire which started in the municipality of El Tanque has now reached Santiago del Teide, which has seen over 2,000 people evacuated, most to the local Pancracio Socas sports centre. In total, over 5,000 have been displaced due to the fires, which are no closer to being under control.
Up to 4,719 people have been evacuated on the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera as the teams fighting forest fires in La Gomera and Tenerife have “serious difficulties” to prevent the spread of fire. The fire in Tenerife, which started last night (Friday 10th August 2012) has affected around 220 hectares and about 470 in La Gomera in addition to the 3,100 acres already affected before the current high weather conditions revived the fire, which started last Saturday. Offical reports quote “the bad weather with high temperatures, low humidity and winds gusting up to 40 kilometers per hour are hampering firefighting and fire spread”.
The Canary Islands government have requested from the Ministry of Environment a new seaplane to fly over to the Canary Islands tonight. They have also requested resources from the Emergency Military Unit, who will travel from Gando (Gran Canaria) to Tenerife with 9 to 32 military vehicles and at a later date, will request a second unit consisting of 40 people and 15 vehicles. Around 120 soldiers from Seville will also trave lto the islands to assist with the firefighting.