Tenerife crisis warning as fears grow huge fires will sweep across Canary Islands

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun18,2024

The extreme and prolonged drought experienced across the Canary Islands has heightened the risk of large wildfires as the summer approaches.

In mid-August last year, 15,000 hectares of Tenerife land were ravaged by fire in just three days, making it the worst fire suffered across the Canary Islands in four decades.

But experts have warned the archipelago is dealing this year with conditions – including dry and hot weather – ideal for an even worse tragedy to erupt this summer.

On June 12, the Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo, Security Councillor Nieves Barreto and Territorial Policy Councillor Manuel Miranda met at the presidency headquarters in Santa Cruz de Tenerife to discuss the current weather situation and the resources at hand.

Mr Miranda said: “This summer poses a greater risk for large fires compared to last year.” 

The councillor asked residents to increase vigilance on the forest, highlighting how critical early detection and rapid response are when it comes to wildfires.

This message will be boosted with the launch this summer of a public awareness campaign reminding people to immediately contact the 112 hotline to get in touch with emergency services at the first signs of fire.

The efforts of citizens will be paired with an intensified coordination among official bodies to enhance forest surveillance as well as the creation of a special forest fire and extinction unit.

The Canaries are facing a 70 percent likelihood of higher-than-average temperatures this summer. Moreover, this winter the archipelago recorded only half of the expected rainfall, a much lower rate than the previous year.

The lack of water paired with the heat and the dry terrain make it easier for fires to be ignited and spread uncontrollably.

The lack of rainfall has been a major source of concern for months in Tenerife, with the president of the island, Rosa Davila, signing a decree in late May to declare a state of water emergency on the island.

The decree outlined 75 measures being enforced to mitigate the effects of the dry weather experienced across Tenerife throughout the winter.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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