Tourist areas under threat as ‘Out of control’ wildfires rage in Tenerife

Firefighters worked through the night to battle a raging wildfire in Tenerife, one of Spain’s Canary Islands and a major tourist destination.

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So far 1,800 hectares of land have been affected.

The head of the regional government, Fernando Clavijo, has said: “The Tenerife fire is out of control; the scenario is not exactly very positive.”

About 250 firefighters backed by 13 planes and helicopters, including three sent from mainland Spain, are trying to contain the fire. But efforts are being hampered as the fire is in a mountainous national park.

Tenerife: Where are the wildfires?

According to local media, the fires are concentrated around the mountainous area of Arafo and Candelaria. This is in the centre of the island and it surrounds the famous volcano Teide which is visited by many tourists.

So far 150 people have been evacuated from Candelaria, El Rosario, La Victoria, Santa Úrsula and La Orotava.

Tenerife: Are the wildfires likely to spread to tourist areas?

Highly flammable pine trees in the area could cause the fires to escalate towards tourist hotspots on the canary island, including Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz, authorities said.

“The fire is powerful and is in a complicated area,” Canary Islands regional president Fernando Clavijo told a news conference in Tenerife.

“Efforts are focused on preventing the fire from spreading and affecting mainly residential areas close to the coast.”

Are flights still running to Tenerife?

Tenerife has two airports.

Tenerife South, also known as Reina Sofia Airport, operates the most international flights. So far there are no flight cancellations today, 17 August.

Tenerife North, formerly known as Los Rodeos, handles mostly domestic flights. So far there are no flight cancellations today, 17 August.

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