The fire unleashed last Thursday in the Los Campeches areain the municipality of Los Realejos (Tenerife) and which has spread to San Juan de la Rambla and La Guancha, is still “active” and “is in the stabilization phase, which does not mean that it is controlled but that it has not increased its perimeter. Work is being done to move on to the next phase, that is, the control phase so that it cannot be reviewed. This was clarified this Monday by the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, at the press conference after the technical coordination meeting for this emergency in the Cecoes 1-1-2 room in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The hectares devastated by the fire remain at around 2,700 and the perimeter at 27 kilometers.
After carrying out the reconnaissance flight this morning, the fire is still at level 2, therefore, under the direction of the Government of the Canary Islands.
The points that advance towards the Teide National Park and the scattered one with the Tigaiga population are worrying, “where work has been done during the night to control that line with respect to the perimeter,” explained Torres. He added that “we are before a fire with a great environmental impactalthough it is advancing towards areas with lower risks of spread due to the fact that there is less forest mass”.
The verticality of the terrain is making extinction difficult.
The technical commission will meet late this morning to assess the possibility that the people who have been evacuated return to their homes. So far, some 600 people have had to leave their homes due to the advance of the fire.
Temperatures will remain “high until Wednesday in all the islands and the humidity will be low,” Torres advanced, for which he warned “of the high risk of forest fire and reactivation” of the flames before another two “difficult” days. On the contrary, it will help not to worsen the situation the fact that the speed of the wind will continue to be “low”, between 10 and 30 kilometers per hour.
Yesterday, 168 people worked on the extinction tasks together with 12 aerial means (resources that remain today of the 250 that work in the operation), which poured 1,131,000 liters of water, with 122 discharges more than the day previous, detailed Torres. In turn, 3,508 food rations have been distributed since the start of the fire.
For her part, the head of Civil Protection and Emergency Care of the Government of the Canary Islands, Montserrat Romanstressed that “the affected surface is the same, the control lines are effective, but the fire is still spreading. The interior mass is still hot and there are points that can be reactivated.”
Román also said that “the alert phase of the plan remains activated for extreme maximum temperatures for the island of Gran Canaria by 40 degrees, especially in inland areas and pre-alert for all the islands for temperatures above 36 degrees.” At the same time, the alert for the risk of forest fire continues. The weather in the fire area is relative humidity below 30%, temperatures between 28 and 24 degrees and winds of less than 25 kilometers per hour.
As for the action plan scheduled for today, “two new attacks” will be attempted, which will mainly consist of “the closure in the national park”, where the orography does not accompany because the terrain is “quite abrupt and we don’t know if we can make an effective attack with land means,” said coach Pedro Martínez, so an attempt will be made to intervene with aerial means. In that sense, action will be taken on the Tigaiga slope, “an almost vertical wall.”
Secondly, three hikers had to be rescued yesterday after entering a prohibited forest area and finding one of them unwell, the president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, reported, who recalled that the prohibition of carrying out any activity in the mountains of the entire island continues. Resources had to be diverted to attend to this emergency.
Members of the State Security Forces and Bodies continue to investigate the causes of the fire and it is possible that today they can access the point of origin, said the Canarian president, who specified that, “Possibly arson”.