13,000 hectares and “catastrophic” areas

Fires in the Sierra de la Arafo (Tenerife) on the night of 15 August are currently affecting about 12 municipalities, of which More than 13,000 hectares have been leveled within a radius of nearly 90 kilometers. According to the latest reports, this also led to the evacuation of more than 12,000 people.

Still, there was good news on Monday.The Directorate General of Emergency Situations of the Government of the Canary Islands declares based on available information Evacuations end in parts of Arafo and El Rosario.

The Spanish government’s acting president, Pedro Sanchez, proposed on Monday that the Council of Ministers would meet when the fire was deemed to be under control. Declare a disaster area. He also assured that “all of Spain stands with the Canary Islands and Tenerife”, both now and in the rebuilding, rehabilitation and stabilization of the island’s affected citizens.

Likewise, Sanchez admitted, the next few hours They are ‘very important’ for considering fire stabilization Over the next few days, he hopes the weather will help. Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo said the fire was not yet under control, although he believed “the worst has already happened”.

the canary chief executive explained Teams in the region work to ‘strengthen borders’ While “it’s not yet possible to talk about containment, it’s being watched to see if all fronts can stabilize and contain it bit by bit from there, and the fuel will run out to extinguish it.”

Regarding the confirmed cause of the fire, he stressed that “Putting it in an inaccessible area is bad intentions when extreme temperatures hitwhich makes the mountain very dry, with little humidity and a lot of fuel “fire”.

To this end, Clavijo explained: “The fire has gained a great deal of strength and has had critical days and nightsIn this sense, he emphasized that “it is a bad idea to start a fire in a place that is more difficult to put out.” He also expressed the hope that the National Guard will “try to detect and find the person who started the fire.”.

The king, for his part, took the opportunity to meet Cristina Valido, a representative of the Confederation of the Canary Islands (CC), to ask for an update on the fires, assuring her: He will travel to the area “as soon as possible” as long as his visit does not distract troops in the fight against fire. He also wanted to express his “great concern” over the incident and his solidarity with those affected.

A “fire”?

Fires have become so deadly due to a combination of factors: massive accumulation of combustible plant clumps, abandonment of rural environments and colonization of land by combustible vegetation, global warming, previous intense heat waves, etc.”, explains Jesús Santiago Notario del Pino, professor at the Department of Animal Biology, Laguna Soil Science and Geology of the University (Tenerife), in a statement of SMC Spain.

“If it’s because of the affected areas, I don’t recall similar fires in Tenerife,” added the expert. Eduardo Eduardo, professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, president of the Official School of Forest Engineers and president of the International PEFC. According to Eduardo Rojas, images of the fires in Tenerife show: It could be one of the so-called “megafires” (or sixth-generation fires)although he argues that “information from satellite imagery and atmospheric observations must be analyzed”.

“These fires generate their own air circulation systems, often without regard to atmospheric dynamics, they generate large airborne emissions of incandescent material (sparks) that can generate new sources at a distance, and Burning intensity exceeds the ability to suppress fires by human means (whether land or air)said Santiago. “The radiant heat is so intense it quickly dehydrates surrounding unburned vegetation and makes it easy to ignite,” he added. So, for example, a house in a hill bounded by a hedge is seriously threatened. ”

Talking to SMC, Rojas explained that nothing more could be done to mitigate the fire right now.But prevention still has room for improvement: “Road network access, clearing and pruning, prescribed burning. In much drier Gran Canaria, the fire stopped about 100 hectares two weeks ago as it spread to the Forest management has been practiced. In canyons, prioritize vegetation and reduce fuel. Where agronomically feasible and conducive to fire protection, restore crops such as vines to form green screens. ”

air quality

Government of the Canary Islands Risk Statement for Sustaining Very Adverse Air Quality Smoke from forest fires has affected much of Tenerife.

This risk is declared because smoke from forest fires consists of A mixture of gases and small particles emitted when vegetation and other materials are burned, can affect sensitive/risk groups such as those with respiratory or heart conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, as well as children, pregnant women and the elderly. It can also affect people who engage in vigorous physical activity and those with limited mobility.

Possible symptoms are cough, eye, nose, or throat irritation, In addition to difficulty breathing deeply, chest discomfort, palpitations, fatigue, and exacerbation of symptoms in people with previous respiratory or heart problems can occur.

therefore, Advice to avoid staying abroad When engaging in vigorous or prolonged physical activity, keep doors and windows closed, and if you have an air conditioner, put it on recirculation mode and use a clean filter.

Outdoor, it is recommended to use FFP2 masks Avoid respiratory problems and protect eyes as much as possible, washing eyes if necessary.

Aid from Carrefour and the Red Cross

Carrefour, through its foundation and the Red Cross, has activated the “Immediate Response Unit in Emergency Situations”. So, this past weekend, Helped meet the basic needs of 855 peoplebetween the affected team and the fire brigade.

As reported in the joint statement, the Red Cross is also active with the ERIES psychosocial intervention unit, whose training, development and interventions are funded by the Carrefour Solidarity Foundation Since its creation more than 20 years ago.

The Meridiano shopping center donated to the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Red Cross all the bottled water sold in the center’s hypermarket to help firefighters, troops and security forces fight the fires affecting the area.island Let’s say about 700 liters.

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