Tenerife wildfires burn ‘out of control’ as villages evacuated

By Ruth Wright  with AFP, AP

The fires are in the mountainous area surrounding the volcano Mount Teide.

Firefighters worked through the night to battle a raging wildfire in Tenerife, one of Spain’s Canary Islands and a major tourist destination.


So far 1,800 hectares of land have been affected.

The head of the regional government, Fernando Clavijo, has said: “The Tenerife fire is out of control; the scenario is not exactly very positive.”

About 250 firefighters backed by 13 planes and helicopters, including three sent from mainland Spain, are trying to contain the fire. But efforts are being hampered as the fire is in a mountainous national park.

This is a developing situation so this article will be updated throughout the day.

Tenerife: Where are the wildfires?

According to local media, the fires are concentrated around the mountainous area of Arafo and Candelaria. This is in the centre of the island and it surrounds the famous volcano Teide which is visited by many tourists.

So far 150 people have been evacuated from Candelaria, El Rosario, La Victoria, Santa Úrsula and La Orotava.

Tenerife: Are the wildfires likely to spread to tourist areas?

Highly flammable pine trees in the area could cause the fires to escalate towards tourist hotspots on the canary island, including Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz, authorities said.

“The fire is powerful and is in a complicated area,” Canary Islands regional president Fernando Clavijo told a news conference in Tenerife.

“Efforts are focused on preventing the fire from spreading and affecting mainly residential areas close to the coast.”

Are flights still running to Tenerife?

Tenerife has two airports. 

Tenerife South, also known as Reina Sofia Airport, operates the most international flights. So far there are no flight cancellations today, 17 August.


Tenerife North, formerly known as Los Rodeos, handles mostly domestic flights. So far there are no flight cancellations today, 17 August.

What is the advice from airlines if you are due to fly to or from Tenerife?

None of the major European airlines, such as EasyJet, Ryanair, Jet2 and Wizz Air, have issued any notices to travellers that flights to or from Tenerife will be affected.

All airlines have been contacted for comment.

As usual, check airlines’ apps or websites for information on your flight.

European air passenger rights mean that if your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours or cancelled you are entitled to a refund, assistance and, in some cases, compensation.


Watch the video above to learn more.

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