Forest fires in Tenerife continue

As I said in my previous post about the forest fires in Tenerife, I would report on the latest news.

Fire fighters are still battling hard to control the outbreak and although the fires near Vilaflor were reportedly contained last night, just short of 700 metres from the towns football stadium, fires further west are still reported as being out of control.

Residents of Guía de Isora have been protesting that the majority of the attention has been put on the Vilaflor area and they have been concerned that they have been forgotten about.  Fires have been raging close by since the initial outbreak on Sunday, familes have been evacuated and some houses have been burned down.

Fires can be seen dotted about on the hill top, and from an untrained eye – i.e. me – I would have thought that there would be just one massive fire, but no, many smaller – beacon like – fires have broken out all over the hills, towards Tejina and Guía de Isora, hence residents concerns.

Hydroplanes and helicopters have been flying during daylight hours, taking on fuel at the south airport and collecting water from reservoirs and the sea itself.  Sea water was used as a secondary choice, again, the untrained eye might have thought that this would have been the first choice, but it was said that fresh water is much better if available, because the salt in seawater can slow the regrowth of the damaged flora.

Needs must, so most flights are now aeroplanes with bellies full of sea water heading from the airport and seem to be heading westerly now towards Guía de Isora.

Due to the driest winter for 70 years, there is very little fresh water and of course dry tinder has collected in the forest which has made things worse…in fact someone reported that due to the crisis and cuts having been made, the tinder in the forest was not cleared away as it normally had been in past years.

One report today said that it may take 2 more weeks for the fires to be fully extinguished and of course many years for the forests to recover.  2,000 hectares or 5,000 acres of land has been damaged by fire so far…this equates to over 2,500 football fields…!!!