Firefighters close to stabilising Tenerife fire as evacuees start returning home

By Nacho Doce

TENERIFE, Canary Islands, Spain (Reuters) – Firefighters on Monday battled to stabilise an enormous wildfire that has devastated forests on the Spanish island of Tenerife for six days and compelled 1000’s to evacuate their properties.

The hearth that began final Tuesday night time has thus far ravaged some 12,800 hectares of woodland throughout the nationwide park surrounding the Teide volcano, Spain’s highest peak.

Efforts to extinguish it have been hampered by the troublesome terrain – made up of steep ravines and cliffs – and a latest heatwave leaving the pine forest bone dry.

“The worst is behind us,” the Canary Islands’ regional chief Fernando Clavijo mentioned on Monday morning on Cadena SER radio station.

“Right this moment, we are going to carry on working, consolidating perimeters. We can’t speak about management but, we’ll see if we will stabilise all of the fronts,” he added.

Authorities on Sunday allowed a number of the 12,000 folks evacuated from the villages of Arafo and Candelaria to return to their properties, Clavijo mentioned.

“We’re evaluating, because the northeastern half has cooled down, and we’re hoping the reconnaissance flights will enable us to present the evacuees excellent news,” he mentioned.

Clavijo added the fireplace was nearly definitely man-made and mentioned police had been investigating to determine and seize the arsonists.

In the meantime, nationwide climate company AEMET mentioned a brand new heatwave would sweep over mainland Spain on Monday, additional heightening the chance of wildfires there.

Nonetheless, AEMET mentioned there was an opportunity Tenerife would see some rainfall in a while Monday. (This story has been corrected to rectify the primary identify of Canary Islands chief to Fernando Clavijo in paragraph 4)

(Reporting by Nacho Doce, Writing by Inti Landauro, Enhancing by David Latona and Sharon Singleton)

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