Hundreds Of People Evacuated Because Of Huge Fire In Gran Canaria
Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes because of a huge fire on the popular tourist island of Gran Canaria.
The fire has spiralled rapidly out of control since it began in Artenara on the western side of the island. Now, local authorities have confirmed that troops have been drafted in to help quell the blaze, which is currently affecting a 900 hectare area in the mountains.
A 55-year-old man has been arrested by police in relation to the cause of the fire. It is thought that the fire started as a result of a man using a soldering iron.
Incendio Artenara-Tejeda pic.twitter.com/0aTYJae0qj
- Evaristo Quintana (@Evaristo_Q) August 10, 2019
Emergency services thought that they had managed to get the fire under control and downgraded the emergency last night, however they have now called in further aerial assistance to tackle the inferno.
This morning, the Gran Canaria fire brigade tweeted: "We are overwhelmed by the situation. We continue working and fighting for our island!!!"
Imagen aérea tomada desde uno de los helicópteros del Cabildo de Gran Canaria. #IFArtenara pic.twitter.com/nErnYIT9jP
- Cabildo Gran Canaria (@GranCanariaCab) August 10, 2019
Residents in the area affected by the fire have been evacuated; this includes around 900 people who live in villages in the Artenara area.
Some evacuees were left with no choice but to spend last night in municipal buildings including schools, sports and leisure centres, and community halls.
@BomberosGC en posición de contención para atajar el fuego a la llegada de la carretera.
Seguimos luchando por nuestra isla!! #IIFF #IIFFTejedaArtenera #Tejeda #Artenara #GranCanaria #incendioforestal
Hora: 00:54 día 11 Agosto. pic.twitter.com/TgOKXFHU6l
- BOMBEROS GRANCANARIA (@BomberosGC) August 10, 2019
Red Cross officials at the scene have confirmed that so far no residents have been injured, but they remain very worried about properties in the area as several have already been destroyed by the fire.
Two firefighters have been treated for burn injuries.
The fire is so severe that soldiers from the Emergency Intervention Unit in Los Rodeos in neighbouring Tenerife have been drafted in to help with the firefighting effort.
The municipal areas that have been evacuated are in the areas of Tejeda, Gáldar, and Artenara.
People living in the districts of El Tablado, El Rincon, Juan Fernández, La Culata, Las Peñas, Peña Rajada, Las Arbejas, and Las Crucitas have been forced from their homes.
Impresionantes y tristes imagenes desde la GC 21 del incendio de Artenara a las 22:35 de esta noche. :cry::cry::cry: pic.twitter.com/hEuezw8sZD
- patricia urquijo (@11patri11) August 10, 2019
On top of that, one tourist campsite has been evacuated. The smoke from the blaze can be seen from all parts of the island from the air, as well as from Tenerife.
The Gran Canaria council tweeted: "During the morning, 10 air means will be incorporated into the #IFArtenara extinction tasks at the #GRANCANARIA summit.
"Nine helicopters from different Administrations (State, Government and Cabildo) and an airplane will participate."
The area that the fire started is around 20 miles from the capital of Las Palmas.
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