Evacuated residents might soon return home, as Tenerife fire enters a favorable scenario

Published on August 22, 2023
Canary IslandsNews from Canary Islands
tenerife forest fire august 2023 arafo candelaria

The Minister of Territorial Policy and Head of Emergencies, Manuel Miranda, announced today that last night was the calmest since the start of the fire, with no surprises that prevented the firefighting teams from working as planned and that the scenario is favorable, which allows to start the de-escalation so that the evacuated population can return to their homes in safe conditions.

  • This has been the quietest night since the start of the fire and the planned work has been carried out without incident
  • The surface reaches 14,624 hectares distributed in 12 municipalities, after carrying out an adjustment of the perimeter that stands at 88 kilometers
  • The only front that is active at the moment is Mal Abrigo, in Güímar

In this sense, the president of the Cabildo, Rosa Dávila, pointed out that a coordination meeting of the Plan's management will be held at noon with the mayors of the affected municipalities and basic services to assess the relocation and to be able to establish a plan that does not hinder the circulation of means of intervention.

At the moment, about 12,000 people remain evacuated, since 1,450 were able to return recently, to their homes in Candelaria, Arafo and part of El Rosario.

The accesses to the Teide National Park by TF-21 and TF-24 continue to be closed, although today entry through Boca Tauce will be allowed, under the control of the Civil Guard, to authorized persons, mainly workers and beekeepers.

The area affected by the fire reaches 14,624 hectares distributed in 12 municipalities, after adjusting the perimeter to 88 kilometers, with La Orotava occupying 37%. The breadth of the perimeter is one of the aspects that most worries the management of the Plan for the return to normality, since the fire is still active, with hot spots that can be rekindled.

The only front that is active at this moment is Mal Abrigo, with a critical point that is descending towards the bottom of the ravines and an attempt will be made to attack it today by land with specialized teams in three sectors and with the greatest possible number of air resources, since there is a risk that it could advance towards Anocheza, in the heights of Güímar, and escape through that area.

On the other hand, the technicians highlighted that in the Tacoronte sector, there are many hot spots, some very close to the perimeter, which can be reactivated especially in the middle of the day, so that very intense smoke columns can continue to be seen.

The authorities recalled that the air quality continues to be very unfavorable due to smoke, made up of a mixture of gases and small particles that are emitted by the combustion of vegetation and other materials, mainly in the municipalities of Los Realejos, La Orotava and Arafo, but also in the municipalities on the north and south slopes, so the same self-protection recommendations must continue to be maintained.

During the day, 20 aerial means will continue to work in the area, two of them in coordination tasks, since a helicopter of the Ministry has suffered a breakdown and one of the Cabildo has been rendered inoperative after receiving the impact of a stone on the rotor. Regarding this act of vandalism, Rosa Dávila asked the population to keep informed through official media and not to spread rumors since all the water that is being taken from the tanks will be replaced and compensated, so they should not be afraid of losing water for their crops.

By land, the workforce is made up of 610 troops, of which 255 are direct intervention, 197 security, 40 logistics and 160 volunteers from different municipal groups.

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