It has now been stated that around 4,000 people have been evacuated as wildfires rip through Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.
Dramatic images from the Gran Canaria Fire Front
This is the third fire to break out in the Canary Islands in a week. Nine helicopters and two planes were aiding at least 600 people including firefighters and army emergency personnel who are working in shifts to tackle the blaze.
The fires started near the town of Tejeda. Around 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) have been destroyed and 11 roads have been closed.
Officials described the fire as having “great potential” to spread. The excruciating temperatures, close to 40 C (104 F) together with the humidity levels below 30% and strong winds, have provided what experts call the “perfect storm” for virulent wildfires.
Ángel Víctor Torres, the region’s president has expressed his growing concern for those in the area: “The environmental damage has already been done,” he said “We are facing a complicated situation in which the security of people is the priority now.”
Evacuations extended to at least 40 towns in the vicinity of Valleseco where least 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of field and low forest burned in the same area last week.