Moment, Tenerife wildfire tears through forest before thousands are evacuated on popular British holiday island
- Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers were mobilized to fight the fire.
- It comes after huge fires ravaged much of the island in August.
Some 3,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes overnight as a new wildfire began to ravage parts of Tenerife, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain’s Canary Islands.
Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers were deployed to battle the blaze which reignited on Wednesday after the island faced horrific blazes throughout August.
The fires were the worst to hit the beloved tourist destination in decades: the inferno completely destroyed 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres) of pine forest and scrubland and forced 12,000 people to abandon their homes, some for several weeks.
Although the August fires were eventually brought under control, they were never completely extinguished.
Small fires continued to break out periodically in the same area due to winds and high temperatures – conditions that allowed Wednesday’s fire to intensify and trigger the evacuation.
So far, only 30 hectares (70 acres) have been affected, but there are fears this could spread further due toThe island, like the rest of Spain, has been experiencing intense drought for several years and unusually high temperatures until now in October.
Some 3,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes overnight as a new wildfire ravaged parts of Tenerife.
Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers were mobilized to fight the fire.
So far, just 30 hectares (70 acres) have been affected and firefighters are battling to contain the blaze.
A fire plane dumps water over Guimar, as wildfires rage out of control on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, August 22, 2023.
A photo made available by the Military Emergency Unit (UME) shows a member of the UME working to extinguish the forest fire in Arafo-Candelaria, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, August 21, 2023.
The new fire is affecting the towns of Santa Ursula and La Orotava, in the mountainous northeast of the island, away from the main tourist areas of southwest Tenerife.
In August, some 12,000 people were evacuated from Tenerife as “out of control” wildfires ravaged the island.
It was a particularly bad month for wildfires, with much of Greece also succumbing to out-of-control fires.
European Union officials have blamed climate change for the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires in Europe, noting that 2022 was the second worst year on record for wildfire damage after 2017.