Efforts to combat Tenerife wildfire ‘takes a turn for the better’

A decision on whether some residents will be allowed to return to areas of Tenerife affected by wildfires could be made as early as today.

The Tenerife Tourism Corporation issued an update to say efforts to combat the fires “took a turn for the better” on Sunday night and has “enabled an improved outlook, albeit without underplaying the seriousness of the current situation”. 

The statement said that 275 fire-fighters had successfully moved the flames away from a boundary zone between woodland and an urban area “and a decision will be taken in the coming hours regarding whether to allow certain residents of La Esperanza, El Rosario and Arafo to return home”.

However, the fire has now affected 13,383 hectares in 12 municipalities on the largest island in the Canaries.

Road access routes into the mountains remain closed, specifically those leading to the Teide National Park from the north and south of the island. 

“The population is also being asked to stay away from the perimeter of the fire in order not to hinder or distract the work being done by professional fire-fighters,” the corporation said.

“The regional government has stated that the air quality index is poor in those municipalities closest to the fire, although this varies depending on wind direction so we are advising people to follow the recommendations issued by the authorities at any given time.”

The organisation reiterated that the situation “remains entirely normal” in all major cities and tourist destinations on the island. 

“The local population and tourists continue to go about daily life without incident, both in the metropolitan area (including Santa Cruz and La Laguna) and in Arona or Adeje, including Santiago del Teide, Guía de Isora, San Miguel de Abona and Puerto de la Cruz. 

“As a result, the island is an entirely safe destination at this time for both local residents and those tourists who are currently here or planning to come.

“All port and airport operations are continuing without any issues and have recorded no cancellations due to the fire. Road traffic around the island is also unaffected, except for the road closures on access routes into the mountainous area.”

The tourism body added: “We would like to highlight and express our gratitude for the exemplary conduct of both local residents and the more than 130,000 tourists on average who have been spending their time recently on an island with 931,626 inhabitants and who have followed the instructions issued by the authorities at all times.”