A huge forest fire is raging between the municipalities of Mazo and Fuencaliente in the south of the island of La Palma. The army is contributing to firefighting efforts, and helping to evacuate those in the path of the blaze, which has three main foci. Four thousand residents have already been helped to safety, but officials say that the fire is burning “totally out of control” and has already reached residential areas.
The effort to gain control of the outbreak is described, quite literally, as all hands to the pumps. The fire’s severity has resulted in its being declared Category 2, which means that regional, not just local, efforts and resources can be involved.
The fire alarm was raised around 11pm last evening, and although it is just speculation at the moment, fireworks are being mooted as a possible cause for the conflagration. The flames spread quickly through higher forest areas, fanned by gale force hot winds. A telephone line has been set up for those affected: 902128188. Canarias7
UPDATE 11.40pm 1 August: Firefighters are now pinning their hopes on the lower temperatures and wind speed reduction forecast for tomorrow. After more than 18 hours since the alarm was raised, the fire is still out of control in two of the three fronts, one of which is in the south east and now heading north, and the other, which is more virulent, is soaring to the peaks. It is this latter front that all efforts are concentrating on tonight, as fire teams from La Palma, Los Rodeos in Tenerife, and Seville, as well as the Spanish air force and army all struggle to gain control of the inferno. Diario de Avisos