Evacuations as Gran Canaria hit by new blaze


MADRID, Aug 18, 2019 (AFP) – Authorities on the Spanish island of Gran
Canaria were set to evacuate more residents on Saturday as a forest fire
broke out just days after another blaze raged in the same area.

Earlier in the evening, the island council said it had evacuated the Cross
of Tejeda, a mountain pass popular for its spectacular views in the centre of
Gran Canaria, and a nearby luxury hotel.

Later, it added that the centre of the nearby village of Tejeda and several
other adjacent districts would also be evacuated.

It was unclear how many people this would involve, but Tejeda has a
population of just under 2,000.

The council added it was blocking off roads near the blaze.

“Leave the area,” it warned in capital letters.

The blaze comes just five days after firefighters managed to contain a fire
in the same area of the Canary Islands archipelago that had sparked the
evacuation of hundreds of people.

At the time, emergency services had warned that strong gusts of wind and an
impending heatwave could fan the remaining embers into another fire.

Firefighters in Gran Canaria said helicopters had been sent to the zone.

In a statement, they said the blaze “doesn’t look good at all with this
temperature, winds and low humidity”.

Water-dropping planes were not readily available as they had gone back to
mainland Spain, over 1,000 kilometres away, they added.

One of these planes is now en route back to Gran Canaria, air traffic
controllers said on their Twitter account.