Forest fire update – 5pm
Vilaflor residents have seen their first sea planes within the last few hours.
Three Air Force planes and 110 members of the Army’s II Emergency Intervention Battalion, left their base inSevillelast night and have joined the Emergency Military Unit (UME) here inTenerife.
Spain’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the three “Canadair” planes from the Air Force 43rd Division were requested by the Canarian Government, and these “fire-fighting” planes will be added to the air assets provided for by the Tenerife Cabildo, under the operational direction of the head of the Emergency Military Unit (UME).
The 110 members of the II Emergency Intervention Battalion will be working beside the Adeje-based Army Tactical Group.
The new ground troops, along with the existing EMU, brings the total of military personnel to 240 members, with 42 vehicles, including 11 fire engines, who attack the fire up-close and also extinguish secondary fires, as well as being responsible for the safety of the locally affected populations.
AENA have confirmed three planes are in use, collecting water ‘Agua Dulce’ from Tenerife South Airport and sea water from Los Cristianos, they can carry 1,500 litres of water each. They are attacking the most important areas. In addition AENA said, “there are further seaplanes on alert should they be needed.”
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