The situation of the forest fire that started on the night of August 15 on Mount Arafo, on the island of Tenerifehas become complicated in the northern zone during the last hours, for which the INFOCA Plan Emergency Department has been forced to order new evacuations.
The fire, which continues without control, It already affects 5,000 hectares and has a perimeter of 50 kilometers which covers an area of 10 municipalities (Arafo, Candelaria, El Rosario, La Orotava, Santa Úrsula, La Victoria, El Sauzal, Tacoronte, La Matanza and Guímar). Until Friday night the total of people evacuated was 4,509although only 114 were housed in the emergency facilities set up in various municipalities for their care, and almost 1,700 were confined to their homes.
The Minister of Territorial Policy, Territorial Cohesion and Water of the Government of the Canary Islands, Manuel Mirandaexplained to the media that the reason for the new evacuations is that the weather changed overnight. “The operation that is directing the fire has just sent an SMS to the entire affected population urging them to leave their homes due to the danger and proximity of the fire, asking them to place themselves under the orders of the different security forces that are acting in the area,” he said.
The technical director of the emergency, Montse Roman, explained that the evacuations have been carried out in a prioritized manner according to the proximity of the fire. He also pointed out that for the moment areas of La Orotava, La Matanza and La Victoria and that new ones are being prepared in El Sauzal, Tacoronte and Santa Ursuladepending on the direction of the wind.
Roman explained on Friday that 226 firefighters would work throughout the night and that on Saturday they will join 19 aircraft and the land contingent will increase to 265 troops. Saturday’s day is expected to be complicated, with high temperatures and gusts of wind in the area “that can be quite strong.”