At noon, the authorities reported a “positive improvement” in the main situation of the fire, according to what was communicated at a press conference by Montserrat Román, the head of the Civil Protection department of the archipelago located near the west African coast.
This improvement led to the decision to partially lift the confinement restrictions imposed due to the fire in one of the neighborhoods of the affected municipalities, Román added. Although conditions are improving, some 4,500 people still remain evacuated, and around 1,700 are confined to their homes, according to the latest data provided by the head of civil protection.
Teide National Park, a popular tourist destination, has been closed since Thursday night. The forest fire, which broke out on Tuesday night, has consumed approximately 3,800 hectares in a 42-kilometer perimeter, according to the most recent figures provided by the authorities. To combat the fire, more than 250 firefighters, 16 planes, and more than 200 members of the Special Military Unit (UME) of the Ministry of Defense, specialized in large-scale fires in Spain, have been mobilized.
Fernando Clavijo, regional president of the Canary Islands, mentioned that during the previous night “the fire” and “the weather conditions” behaved “normally”. However, he clarified that the previous nights had presented unusual winds, temperatures, and fire behavior.
The fire has created its own cloud of smoke that has risen over the Teide volcano, the highest point in Spain at 3,715 meters high. Although the intensity of the flames decreased overnight, the head of the forest services, Pedro Martínez, warned that the fire could reactivate during the hottest hours of the day.
This fire occurs after a heat wave that left dry areas in the Canary Islands, increasing the risk of forest fires. Experts point out that extreme weather events are being exacerbated by global warming, which could result in more frequent and intense heat waves with more extensive impacts. In 2022, Spain suffered more than 500 fires that devastated 300,000 hectares, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (Effis), reflecting the growing challenges the country faces in the face of global warming.