Thursday June 20, 2024

Thousands evacuated as wildfire rips through Tenerife

Published : 06 Oct 2023, 03:04

  DF News Desk
Photo taken on July 20, 2022 shows smoke caused by a wildfire rising in Ateca, Aragon, Spain. File Photo: Aragon Government/Handout via Xinhua.

Around 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on the Spanish island of Tenerife due to a raging wildfire, the Canary Islands' regional government said on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

Unseasonal hot weather plus strong winds has reignited a wildfire that originally began on Aug. 15.

The blaze has already burned around 12,273 hectares of land, in the worst wildfire ever to hit the Canary Islands, which are located off the north-west coast of Africa. Around 12,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in and around Santa Ursula and La Orotava in the north-east of the island.

The fire was brought under control by firefighters on Sept. 11, but had not been fully extinguished.

Temperatures of over 30 degrees centigrade (well above average for October), coupled with strong winds in recent days, reignited the embers on Wednesday. Subsequently, the government's Civil Protection Emergency Wildfire Plan declared a 'Level 2' emergency and ordered the evacuations.

Around 120 firefighters are currently battling the flames, which have so far consumed a further 30 hectares of terrain.