Like an enraged beast that feels attacked, the fire that has been ravaging the island of Tenerife for four days does not yield to the actions of the extinguishing teams, but continues to grow, consuming surface area and plunging the Canaries into uncertainty. There are already 12,271 people who have had to leave their homes due to the proximity of a fire that is progressing without control and that is spreading over ten municipalities on the island (there are 31). The initial figure was 26,000, although it was an approximation based on the census. As for the burned hectares, they were more than 8,400 around midnight in a perimeter of 70 kilometers.
The weather conditions that have existed in Tenerife since Friday, of high temperatures, south-east wind and a reduced level of humidity have become the best ally of a "hungry" fire, as pointed out yesterday by the president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, and of dimensions that had never been seen before in the Canary Islands. At the last press conference offered last night by the Canary Government, Federico Grillo, Head of Emergencies of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, pointed out that the potential of the fire is 21,000 hectares, which would be the most destructive of the Canary Islands For his part, Pedro Martínez reiterated yesterday that the fire will not be extinguished over the next few hours.
This morning, 150 firefighters worked to defend the houses and it is expected to be a "hard and scary" night, but it will be vital to contain the fire, Clavijo assured. Although there are enough air and land resources and enough cash, the difficulty and orography in some areas together with the cloudiness and bad weather conditions make it difficult to fight against a fire of the sixth generation and which is causing very complicated situations and " compromises” for the teams working to extinguish it. According to Martínez, since Friday night several convective columns have appeared, generated by the difference in temperatures and causing a change in the wind regime, with more turbulence and eddies that make the fire move in different directions, so that they can shut down firefighters struggling to control it. "The slopes of the area, the accumulation of smoke and convective phenomena prevent us from being able to work. There are no opportunities for action", Martínez pointed out, and said that the convective columns have caused situations in which the agents have been trapped.
There are three fronts that worry the most. One of these is the one that was generated on Friday night, when the fire surpassed the peak of Cho Marcial and entered the municipality of Güímar. Another is the one in the municipality of Santa Úrsula, to the northeast of the fire, and where it is impossible to act directly because it is a sworded area, and finally, the northern front, from La Orotava towards Los Realejos, who is particularly worried about his "aggressive" progress. It is hoped that if it reaches the slope of Tigaiga, in Los Realejos, that it will be at the top. The aerial media were focused on the area yesterday, although the low visibility prevented them from being able to work. The south-east wind in this area moved ash in several areas and generated new foci where work was done yesterday with great difficulty. The La Esperanza (El Rosario) front, where efforts were concentrated on Friday, was successfully contained.
"It is an absolutely exceptional and hungry fire and accentuated by the climatic circumstances", indicated Clavijo, who yesterday emphasized that, despite the difficulties, the work carried out by the firefighters has prevented the loss of homes so far.