Raging inferno in Tenerife forces evacuation of over 12,000 residents

A raging wildfire on the Spanish island of Tenerife continued to wreak havoc, leading to the evacuation of thousands of residents. While weather conditions displayed a slight respite, the fire, as of Sunday, remained uncontrollable. The eerie glow of orange flames contrasted starkly against the night sky from Saturday to Sunday.

This visual turmoil took place right above populated areas, with dense black smoke ascending significantly, as captured by Reuters. Emergency services, late on Saturday, confirmed that the wildfire had spread to 10 towns, leading to the evacuation of 11 towns as a preventive measure. Despite the spread, key tourist destinations on the island remain untouched.

The expanse of the fire has been significant, covering a vast region of over 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) and stretching a perimeter of 70 km (40 miles). This was a sharp increase from the 5,000 hectares and a 50 km perimeter recorded early Saturday. While initial estimates had cited around 26,000 evacuees, updated figures from regional authorities present a count of over 12,000.

The Tenerife fire brigade commented on the overnight weather conditions as “better than expected” via X, the platform previously recognized as Twitter. Fernando Clavijo, the regional leader of the Canary Islands, lauded the efforts of what he described as the most extensive firefighting deployment in Tenerife’s history, which has thus far safeguarded homes from being lost.

The gravity of the situation on Saturday prompted a series of evacuations, spurred by the deteriorating weather. Rosa Davila, the head of Tenerife’s local government, during a late-night news conference on Saturday, labeled the blaze as “devastating” and reported further evacuation actions. Originating on Wednesday, the fire ignited within the mountainous national park surrounding Mount Teide volcano, which stands as Spain’s loftiest peak.