Skip to comments.Almost 10,000 people evacuated from Canary Islands
Posted on 07/31/2007 8:12:58 PM PDT by JohnA
MADRID, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - Some 10,000 people have been evacuated from two major islands on Spain's Canaries swept by forest fires, a local government spokesman said Tuesday.
"The island of Gran Canaria, where over 20,000 hectares of pineland has burnt down, is seeing the worst situation, and 13,000 hectares of forests have been destroyed on Tenerife," the source said.
However, the spokesman said the fires were raging in inland areas of the islands, while coastal regions where numerous hotels and popular beaches are located were under no threat.
The official said strong winds and scorching temperatures of up to 45 degrees Centigrade (113 degrees Fahrenheit) were helping to spread the blaze, with firefighters unable to use heavy machinery in mountainous districts.
He said five water carrying helicopters and a hydro plane were currently involved in the firefighting operation over Tenerife, and more aircraft were expected to arrive soon.
However, a resident of the village of Aldea de San Nicolas on Gran Canaria complained about "a lack of firefighting equipment" in a telephone conversation with RIA Novosti.
Spanish Environment Minister Cristina Narbona arrived in the fire-hit region earlier in the day to coordinate firefighting efforts, while local authorities have already pledged up to 300,000 euros in compensation to the affected households.
Reading some of the posts at BBC’s forum the other day.
Apparently the United States has managed to cause a thinning of the ozone layer above Greece and southeast Europe.
Would not have happened if we had of ratified Kyoto in 1997.
Canary Islands PING!!!
I wonder why the call has not gone out for help from the US from what must be desperate people as it did in 1997 from Indonesia during the HAZE.
· 24,000 hectares destroyed in one of worst ever blazes
· Warden arrested on suspicion of arson
Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Wednesday August 1, 2007
The Guardian (UK)
Huge plumes of smoke drifted across the skies of the Canary Islands yesterday as two big forest fires forced 10,000 people out of their homes to seek safety away from the spreading flames.
Strong winds and soaring temperatures helped the fires spread rapidly through inland areas of both Gran Canaria and Tenerife as authorities admitted they were struggling to contain them.
Some 24,000 hectares (60,000 acres) of land had gone up in smoke by yesterday morning. Authorities said that a fire that had been raging for four days on the island of Gran Canaria would have devoured up to 20,000 hectares by the end of the day. The fire, in a high-lying area to the south of the island, led to 5,200 people being evacuated from the municipality of Mogán and neighbouring areas.
A local forest warden has been arrested on suspicion of starting the fire in protest at being told that he would be laid off from his job in September.
Temporary warden Juan Antonio Navarro was remanded in custody after police blamed him for a fire which he had been the first to report.
"This is one of the worst, if not the worst ever, fires on the island," said the special prosecutor for environmental crimes, Guillermo García Panasco.
Eleven firefighting helicopters and planes were at work dropping water on the steep slopes of Gran Canaria as hill-top military and civilian communications centres came under threat.
A further five aircraft were fighting a fire on the island of Tenerife that had burned up to 14,000 hectares of land since it started on Monday, authorities said.
More than 4,000 people had been evacuated from municipalities to the west of the soaring Teide volcano as this fire, too, was pushed by strong winds.
With winds reaching up to 43 mph on Gran Canaria, no one was prepared to predict when the fire might eventually be put out.
"The landscape of the islands makes it very difficult to fight the fires except for from the air - though the high temperatures and wind are making things difficult," said Paulino Rivero, president of the regional government.
Low humidity and temperatures above 40C (104F) have helped the fires keep burning.
Hundreds of soldiers have been called in to help firefighting crews on both islands. Two soldiers were injured yesterday when their tanker truck overturned.
None of the big tourism centres on the islands were under threat yesterday. But the fire has damaged 65% of the Palmitos bird sanctuary park. There are fears that exotic birds may have been killed.
Some 5 million tourists visit the Canary Islands, which lie off the coast of west Africa, every year.
A relatively mild summer across most of mainland Spain so far has meant these are the country's first big fires of the year. Last year 80,000 hectares were burned in Galicia, on the north-western mainland.
Eleven firefighters died in 2005 when they were cut off by flames in a fire near Guadalajara, central Spain.
If the Costa Del Sol and Algarve are the Florida of Europe, the Canaries are the Hawaii. Lots of Brits have second homes there, so between the floods and the fires, they must feel cursed.
CDNN :: Canary Islands Earthquake Could Trigger Monster Tsunami
I’m more interested in what started the fires.
Maybe it was a New Jersey Air National Guard jet. Bob Menendez, who’s ancestors came from the Canary Islands, told me so. ;-)
Montenegro will be OK. Serbia was bailed out. Bulgaria got firefighting and so did Greece.......all because the Russians are ready.
Well, a shot of Stoli to them!
The Brits are sitting on BBC coverage from 1995 ...all about the IL-76 waterbomber and the test from Larkhill conducted by the US Forest Service. They have the USFS guy, now deceased, on video.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
I see activity in that area
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