Monday, April 28, 2008

Fires in Canary Islands out of control

The wild fires that have been burning on La Gomera (one of the islands that make up the Canary Islands) since last Saturday is still out of control due to adverse weather conditions. At the moment the Garajonay national park remains unaffected. However, there are fears that the fire could spread towards this area.

The Defence Ministry has sent 50 military personnel to help put out the fires that are currently burning on La Gomera. Very few areas where the fire is burning have been brought under control and there is still a lot of work left to be done.
The President of the Canary Islands’ government said yesterday that as the wind was still strong and temperatures high ‘it was necessary to carry on working and hope that weather conditions would improve overnight’.

At present the fires have burnt between 700 and 800 hectares. The most intense part of the fire is in the upper part of the Hermigua district, in the area near La Palmita and Los Aceviños.

During yesterday afternoon three hydroplanes, sent by the Environment Ministry with a capacity for 5000 litres of water, joined forces with the four helicopters that have been working to damp down vegetation in an attempt to prevent the fire advancing towards the Garajonay national park. It is expected that two more helicopters will join fire fighting teams today.

Rivero said that the island’s terrain was hindering efforts to get the fire under control and that fire fighters were having to work day and night.

The Canary Islands’ government has confirmed that schools will be open today in La Gomera except for the CEO Mario Lhermet, in Hermigua, given that the fire is now approaching this area.

The areas where the hydroplanes and helicopters are working are Ancón de Liria, Pista del Cura, Moledores and Aceviños, all in the Hermigua district in La Palmita, on the border with Agulo, as well as in the Barranco del Clavo, in the Vallehermoso district, which became a new centre of the fire yesterday afternoon.

All those who had been evacuated have been allowed to return home except for the inhabitants of Aceviños and La Palmita.

The town hall of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has prepared a team of 6 personnel and a lorry carrying 7000 litres of water to help fight the fires burning on La Gomera.
Electricity supplies have been restored in all areas except for Los Aceviños and La Palmita which are still affected. Fixed telephone lines have also been re-established, although mobile connections are still experiencing problems in certain areas.
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posted by Euroresidentes at 3:00 PM



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