Wildfire sweeps across Gran Canaria as 4,000 people told to evacuate

Wildfire sweeps across Gran Canaria as 4,000 people are told to evacuate as 700 firefighters and 200 soldiers tackle the blaze

  • Around 1,700 hectares of ground have been burned and 11 roads have been closed due to the blaze
  • High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity have hindered attempts to control the fire 
  • The wildfire, which started on Saturday near the town of Tejeda, is sweeping in on two fronts 

A wildfire sweeping across Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands has led to the evacuation of 4,000 people today. 

Officials warned tackling the blaze was being complicated by a combination of high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity.

The wildfire, which started on Saturday close to the town of Tejeda, is advancing on two fronts in a mountainous area of the island. 

Tejeda, which has a population of just under 2,000 people, and other nearby areas were also cleared.

A helicopter drops water to fight a forest fire seen ravaging the countryside in the central village of Valleseco, Gran Canaria

Flames and smoke from a forest fire are seen in the village of Valleseco, a town and a municipality of the Las Palmas province in the northern part of Gran Canaria

Around 1,700 hectares of ground have been burned and 11 roads have been closed due to the blaze which has led to 4,000 people evacuating their homes

Ten planes and helicopters, as well as around 700 firefighters on the ground including about 200 from the military, have been battling the blaze

Around 1,700 hectares of ground have been burned and 11 roads have been closed.

The regional president of the Canary Islands Angel Victor Torres said: ‘The fire is not contained nor stabilized or controlled.’

He added he had spoken by phone with Spanish acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez to request central government help.

Ten planes and helicopters, as well as around 700 firefighters on the ground including about 200 from the military, were battling the blaze. 

A plane drops water to fight a forest fire seen in the village of Valleseco. Officials warned tackling the blaze was being complicated by high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity

Three more planes are on their way to the area. 

Tejeda was evacuated last week because of an earlier wildfire.

Nearly half of Spain’s provinces were on alert on Sunday due to a high risk of fires, according to the country’s weather agency, AEMET. 

Wildfires are common in southern Europe during the hot, dry summer months with experts warning of the potential for dangerous wildfires in Spain throughout the summer due to the record temperatures seen.  

A woman evacuated from her home looks at the forest fire seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria

People who were evacuated from their homes watch a helicopter dropping water to fight a forest fire seen in the village of Valleseco

 

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