David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thousands flee fires on Canary Islands

More than 11,000 people were evacuated from homes and holiday resorts in the Canary Islands as soaring temperatures and high winds fanned a number of fires.

Firefighters are struggling to extinguish fires on two of the archipelago's popular tourist islands.

About 6,000 people were evacuated from homes in Tenerife, where 11,000 acres of forest on the western part of the island have burned since Monday, said Paulino Rivero, the president of the Canary Islands regional government.

He described the situation as "dramatic."

Tenerife authorities said they were fighting fires on four fronts, only one of which was under control. Many roads in the area were closed.

Authorities said winds of 40 miles per hour and temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) were spreading the flames across the tree tops.

In Gran Canaria island, a four-day-old fire has charred 25,000 acres of woodland in the south-west Mogan region.

About 5,200 people, including some tourists, were evacuated from the area as dozens of homes were engulfed by the flames, said a spokesman for the emergency service of the regional government in Gran Canaria.

The fire has burned 65 percent of the Palmitos bird sanctuary park and it was feared some toucans and other exotic birds may have died, the national news agency Efe reported.

Please see the previous two postings concerning my recent holiday visit to Palmitos Park. This news is devastating. I am deeply shocked and greatly saddened by this tragic turn of events. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this catastrophe.

Army troops, along with eight firefighting aircraft, were trying to smother the blaze.


Anonymous said...

I too am deeply saddened to hear this news, the whole thing was completely unnecessary and according to reports coming out now, they had plenty of time to work to evacuate those poor animals. Being a parrot owner and having visited and immensely enjoyed the Canary Islands,I can hardly bear to think about it all.

Roberto Iza Vald├ęs said...

So very tragic and sad. It breaks my

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