Never have the tiny flying devices played such an important role in a fire as in the one that started last Thursday in Los Campeches (Los Realejos) and that yesterday, on its eighth day, was still stabilized and very close to definitive control. The drones and their thermal cameras have been decisive for the first time in planning the firefighting operation with a precision that had not been achieved before. The Brifor brigades of the Cabildo de Tenerife thus premiered the three drones with thermographic cameras incorporated into this summer’s campaign. The result has been very satisfactory.
According to those responsible for the operation, the drones have made it possible to make a more precise map of the fire situation, especially at night and in the hottest spots. Based on this information, the air and ground media have been able to fine-tune their work and attack exactly the most critical points. These aerial images allowed the device to detect that at the worst moments of the fire, the calls reached more than 60 meters in height in front of La Fortaleza, within the Teide National Park.
In addition to the three drones used by Brifor, others were also used by, for example, the Army’s Emergency Unit (UME). They are the new rangers of the mountains of Tenerife, who allow them to monitor the most inaccessible areas and locate the most hidden attempts. The three drones incorporated this year by the insular area of the Environment have two types of camera, one traditional and the other thermographic. With them you can do surveillance even at night. This tool from the Cabildo de Tenerife staff also monitors the firewalls throughout the island.
Evaluations of Pedro Martin
The fire, which has devastated mainly Canarian pine, continues to stabilize and it is expected that in the next few hours “it will be possible to move towards the declaration of control.” This was explained yesterday by Pedro Martín, president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, an administration that has gone on to lead the firefighting operation after it went from level 2 (control of the Canary Islands Government) to level 1 on Wednesday. «The situation during the night [del miércoles] It was very favourable, with little wind, which helped us a lot, together with the drop in temperatures and, of course, the work of the teams, which continues to allow us to say that the situation is stabilized, although we cannot yet say that it is under control », detailed Pedro Martin.
The notable improvement in the situation allowed the Cabildo to reopen the accesses to the mountains of the Island from early yesterday and allow the resumption of activities in the forest areas, with the exception of the fire zone and its surroundings, where measures are maintained. of restriction for security reasons and to prevent the control tasks that are still being carried out from being hindered. The island roads TF-21 (from La Orotava to the Teide National Park) and TF-344 (from Icod de los Vinos to La Guancha) have also been opened to traffic, putting an end to the restrictions that had been established on the circulation of Tenerife.
The stabilization of the flames has made it possible to considerably reduce the deployment of ground and air resources, which came to be made up of some 300 people, 11 helicopters and two seaplanes from the Air Force. Now there are between 30 and 35 land resources from the Forestry Brigades of the Cabildo de Tenerife and 3 helicopters working in the area to continue cooling and monitoring, with special emphasis on the part of concern, on the slope of Tigaiga, Los Realejos.
In total, since last Thursday, 2,753 hectares have been burned, in a fire with a perimeter of 34 kilometers. As for the Teide National Park, 226 hectares have been affected, of which 213 have been pine forest and 13 broom. According to the resolution issued by the Cabildo de Tenerife, transit in the area affected by the fire is temporarily prohibited, both off-road or along any path, path or track in the forest area, except for management reasons or due to force elderly. This measure affects the municipalities of Los Realejos, San Juan de la Rambla, La Guancha and, partially, Icod de los Vinos, where it has been determined that from the Cruz del Majano, Icod Firewall and Reventón de Cangas tracks to the East there are no traffic restrictions.
In addition, in the municipal terms of San Juan de La Rambla and Los Realejos, traffic is closed above the TF-344, from the municipal limit of La Guancha to Pista Lolita. In this area you can only enter for the basic maintenance of the farms and for the care of the animals. Likewise, the recreational areas and camping areas of El Lagar, Fuente Pedro, Chanajiga and La Tahona are temporarily closed, as well as the Emilio Fernández Muñoz camp and the classroom in Nature and the Barranco de la Arena camp.