The fire in Tenerife gave a breather yesterday thanks to the change in weather conditions that helped to shorten the course of the fire that spreads, after five days, over 12,000 hectares and a perimeter of 84 kilometers. The slowdown in the wind and the increase in relative humidity also allowed the fire to stabilize on the southern flank, from Arafo to La Esperanza, which allowed the relocation of more than a hundred residents who were evacuated on the first day in the municipality of Candelaria and in the center of Arafo, except for those in the two neighborhoods closest to the perimeter. In addition, several areas were consolidated on which work was being carried out yesterday and which suggest that the potential of the fire, estimated at 21,000 hectares, will be reduced.
Despite the good progress of the extinction efforts, in which 22 aerial means are participating, which carry out about a thousand discharges with more than one million liters of water per day, the coordination managers warned yesterday that "there is still a lot of work to do ahead” to control a fire that spreads over eleven municipalities. The Civil Guard confirmed yesterday what was advanced by this newspaper in its Sunday edition: that the fire was provoked.
The president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, described yesterday as a "miracle" the change in the weather on Saturday night and that it allowed the bad forecasts that there were about the progress of the fire not to be fulfilled. "This is the first time that we have given positive news from a meteorological point of view," said Pedro Martínez, technical head of Forest Risk, yesterday, who highlighted that the entry of a mass with a high humidity load during the night led to an increase in humidity from 15% to 50%, which reduced the intensity of the fire on the different fire fronts. In addition, the wind stopped and the spread of the fire was reduced.
Last night was intense, especially in the area of El Ravelo (El Sauzal) and Benijo, where the troops fought intensely against the fire to protect the homes in the area. Until now, no house has been destroyed by the flames, although some of them have been affected, as President Clavijo indicated. Yes, several tool rooms and several vehicles succumbed to the fire in this area.
Above all, there are two fronts that worry the most. One of them is that of the Orotava valley, which entered Los Realejos, and the other is the flank of Cho Marcial, in Arafo and in the direction of Güímar, to the west. Both are very active and the fire is still walking.
The Emergency Director of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, who is participating in the extinction efforts in Tenerife, Federico Grillo, was convinced that on the La Orotava front "the border" will be marked by surface humidity as it approaches the coast for the marine environment. In addition, yesterday efforts were concentrated on the Tacoronte front that opened on Saturday night, as well as the one in Santa Úrsula, where the fire has "low intensity", but intervention is difficult due to the steepness of the terrain. Just yesterday there were evacuations of some houses.
The fire continued yesterday emitting particles into the atmosphere due to the combustion of the vegetation and forced one more day to adopt measures such as the use of masks outside 19 municipalities on the island, both on the northern and southern slopes of the fire. .