Spain — Firefighters worked Tuesday to extinguish a 4-day-old forest fire on Spain’s Canary Island, Gran Canaria, helped by water-dropping aircraft. Fire has already charred 20,000 hectares and 11,000 people had to beevacuated.
Fire in the Canary Island
Firefighters worked Tuesday to extinguish a four-day-old forest fire on Spain’s Canary Island of Gran Canaria, helped by water-dropping aircraft. Meanwhile, the number of people evacuated increased to more than 11,000, authorities said.
The fire, which began Friday in a mountainous area, has already charred some 20,000 hectares of woodland in the Mogan region in the southwest of Gran Canaria, which is part of Spain’s Canary Island archipelago located off Africa’s Northwest coast.
Eight firefighting aircraft were working to smother the fire, the state-run news agency Efe reported.
Some 11,000 people, including some tourists, had to be evacuated from the area as a precaution as dozens of homes were engulfed by theflames, said a spokesman for the emergency service of the regional government in Gran Canaria.
On Saturday, police said they arrested a 37-year-old forest ranger, who allegedly acknowledged starting the fire, saying his job contract was about to expire and he wanted to keep working.
Firefighters were also battling fires on the island of Tenerife, where 2,600 hectares (6,424 acres) of land, most of it forested with pine trees, had been burnt since Monday.