Disasters & Accidents

Thousands evacuated due to blaze in Spain’s Canary Islands

Santa Cruz, Spain, Jul 15 (EFE).- A wildfire in Spain’s Canary Islands has consumed 4,675 hectares (11,543 acres) and forced the evacuation of more than 4,000 people, authorities said Saturday.

Though firefighters have managed to slow the advance of the flames, the blaze “continues to be out of control,” regional President Fernando Clavijo said.

In the face of the resistance of some residents to evacuation orders, the top official in the Spanish archipelago off the coast of southern Morocco urged the population to heed the warnings of the first responders who are working to keep people safe.

Nearly 4,300 residents were evacuated from the towns of Tijarafe and Puntagorda and Red Cross personnel were assisting more than 100 people at a municipal building converted into a temporary shelter.

Shortly before sunset, a tanker plane arrived from the Spanish mainland and began spraying water on the fire, and a second plane is expected to reach the islands by dawn Sunday.

Clavijo said that authorities are hopeful of making more progress against the fire in the coming hours thanks to falling temperatures, rising humidity, and a relaxation of the winds.

EFE spf/dr

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