Major fire in Gran Canaria

Update 12.07: The fire has now been formally confirmed as “under control”.

Update 25 October: Firefighting authorities say that this fire is now stabilized, thanks in no little part to weather conditions which have seen cloud cover and a notable reduction in temperatures. The wind, too, has died down somewhat. The island Cabildo says that it hopes they will be able to declare the fire “under control” over the weekend, and given the favourable evolution, has requested the emergency status to be reduced back to Level 1, to bring firefighting efforts back under island control.

Original post 24 October:  A major fire which started around  midday and which now has several primary and secondary fronts  is burning in forested heights of Gran Canaria. The blaze, in the Las Lagunetas area between Tejeda and San Mateo, is now said to be out of control, and some 100 firefighters together with three helicopters are tackling it, with teams from Tenerife set to help. This evening, the Gran Canaria Cabildo declared it a Level 2 emergency which has passed control from the insular authorities to the Canarian Government.

The island’s environment councillor María del Mar Arévalo and firefighting director Luis Eduardo Arencibia, together with the chief of the Consorcio de Emergencias de Gran Canaria, Emilio Duch, say that it is one of the most difficult fires the island has had to face in the last few years, with meteorological conditions, particularly high temperatures and high winds, making things very much more complicated. Various areas have been evacuated, including the Parador hotel and some campsites, and some roads have been closed.

Meteorologists say that a weather front bringing rain could affect the Canaries over the next 24 hours, and to some extent hopes are pinned on its arrival to help firefighters, but unfortunately it looks possible that it will pass us by. Firefighting efforts continue overnight.

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