Update 18 September: Advance notice has been given, to avoid concern, of a BRIFOR forest fire simulation exercise for training purposes in the El Tanque area this Friday, 20 September. Specifically the area affected will be Las Calderas, southeast of San José de los Llanos. Teams, including helicopters, will be operational between 9am and 2pm.
Update 16 August: Yesterday was horrible. There were fires in the Teide national park, on La Gomera and in La Palma. Mercifully the Teide fire is now extinguished, the La Palma one under control, and the La Gomera one stabilized – confirmed at 8am this morning as still not under control. It appears now that although the La Palma and Tenerife fires were caused by carelessness, the La Gomera blaze was arson – and bad enough that the water plane has now seen its first deployment in anger.
The authorities are literally begging people to take extreme care, but of course with arson there is no such appeal that can be made. The forecast for the weekend is for high winds. This will bring cooler weather for a few days, but with the islands as dry and brittle as a tinder box, the winds are a disaster in the making. Take extra care, people, and don’t be afraid to call 112 if you see any smoke in the hills.
Update 15 August: To clarify the position for west Tenerife, the roads should be taken as lines defining a border of a risk area. Any areas with trees – not just forests – “higher” than these lines is out of bounds. The main line for west Tenerife is the Santiago del Teide-Adeje road and the motorway continuing to the Palm Mar/Valle San Lorenzo junction. Clearly the Santiago del Teide area is a risk area – just look at what happened last year – but so are the upper reaches of Guía de Isora, Adeje and Arona, which is the whole area affected by last year’s main fire. The Cabildo has confirmed that the Teide access roads themselves are not closed, but asks the public to take the utmost caution.
Update 14 August: The Tenerife Cabildo has banned all activities and put recreational areas out of bounds from 7pm this evening, Thursday, due to the extreme risk of fire. Whether cycling, picnics, hiking, camping, hunting, works, or anything else in mountain areas, the lot are banned. It goes without saying that anything remotely fire or spark connected is already banned.
The Cabildo has announced the following roads as in “risk zones”, and travel through forested areas in these zones is prohibited. In the north: Llano del Moro to Tenerife II prison; TF-11; Camino Real de La Orotava to carretera general del Norte and Santa Úrsula; forest track Corujera to Pino Alto; Pino Alto- Orotava-Portillo to the Chasna cross and Benijo-Los Realejos-carretera general del Norte-La Guancha-La Florida-Icod de los Vinos; carretera general del Norte Icod de los Vinos-Garachico-Los Silos-Buenavista del Norte to punta de Fraile.
In the west: Parque Rural de Teno to Santiago del Teide; and the main road from Santiago del Teide to Las Américas and the motorway to the Valle San Lorenzo cross … I am trying to double check this because it seems odd.
In the south: carretera general to Güímar; Güímar-Arafo; Los Loros to Cuevecitas cross; Cuevecitas-Araya y general del Sur; and from the there to the municipal boundary of El Rosario with La Laguna and to Llano del Moro.
In Anaga: Punta del Hidalgo-Bajamar-Tejina-Tegueste; Tegueste-Portezuelo and urban area of La Laguna around la Mesa Mota to Las Mercedes and the Jardina-Vía de Ronda-carretera de La Cuesta and limit with the Parque Rural de Anaga.
Original post 11 August: After 20-odd fires this year so far, all of them quickly put out, they’re saying it’s now only a matter of time before there’s a large fire. As a result, emergency services have issued a request for anyone living in fire-risk areas to keep any BBQ wood and fuel away from their properties, and to clear a 15m space around their properties. Let’s hope they’re wrong about the large fire, but it’s sensible advice for any living in the hills.