April 13, 2024

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Bushfires in Tenerife have forced the evacuation of more than 12,000 people

Bushfires in Tenerife have forced the evacuation of more than 12,000 people



CNN

More than 12,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Tenerife after wildfires ravaged the Spanish Canary Island.

Police data showed the number of evacuations rose from 4,500 on Friday. About 11 towns were affected by the fires, but tourist areas were spared.

The local government said that while deteriorating weather conditions were initially expected that would “complicate firefighting operations” on Sunday night, the night was “quiet, with more favorable weather conditions than expected”.

Tenerife firefighters said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that improved conditions have seen “some normalcy” return to firefighting operations.

The fire currently covers an area of ​​approximately 8,400 hectares (about 20,757 acres), according to local authorities.

Tenerife firefighters described the emergency operations as “the largest deployment in history”. They are assisted by the emergency services on the mainland and the Spanish army.

Two evacuees due to the fire hug their dog on Saturday in La Orotava.

“This is probably the most complex fire we have seen in the Canary Islands in the last 40 years,” district leader Fernando Clavijo told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.

Tenerife was very hot last weekend and into the early part of this week with temperatures hovering in the mid 30s, above average for this time of year.

Wildfires have raged in many parts of the world this year, including North Africa, Hawaii, Canada and Europe.

Extreme heat is also increasing again in Europe.

In France, the National Meteorological Agency warned that next week will be the hottest period of summer this year, as an orange heat wave warning was issued in 49 regions.

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On Sunday, Météo France said it was rare for a heat wave of “such intensity” to occur so late in the summer.

Temperatures in Europe began to rise in the Iberian Peninsula this weekend, and will spread across central Europe for most of next week, according to CNN’s weather team.