Thursday 19th – Latest full update – 11am
At a press conference held this morning, Cabildo President Ricardo Melchior and Canarian Economy, Finance and Security Minister Javier Gonzalez Ortiz, reported that the fire has been stabilised overnight, with less than a third of the 41 kilometre perimeter still active.
Ortiz Gonzalez stressed that last night was “quiet” and that the fire “has evolved as planned” on both the “east and west side.”
However, maintaining the alert at level 2 remains necessary in order to keep certain security measures in place, the Minister said. “The situation has improved substantially from last night,” he added.
The front from Boca Tauce to Vilaflor is under control, as are the areas of Vilaflor, Ifonche and La Quinta, while it is stabilised at Chasobo.
There is still fire at La Quinta, but it is moving very slowly downwards. There is also some activity in the region between Chirche and La Quinta, but advice is that this will soon be controlled.
Gonzalez Ortiz explained that the power to Vilaflor is restored and Melchior said that they are working to resolve water shortages, where pipes have been affected by the intense heat.
“There’s always a flip side, but the news is good, as long as care is taken, and right now the fire is stabilised with only a perimeter of 12 kilometres still to be brought under control. The airborne brigades will be working on doing that this morning, since the areas are virtually impossible to reach on the ground,” said Melchior. “Surveillance of the remaining areas of fire will continue along with clearance of small sections of the fire. The ground is still too hot to get right into the affected areas with the military EMU and local fire-fighters “.
The residents of Tijoco Alto and Vilaflor have been told they can return to their homes just after 14.00 hours today.
The Cabildo estimated that within the 41 kilometre perimeter, the fire has affected 5,200 hectares, of which approximately 1,000 acres is burned to some extent and about 500 are completely destroyed, some 1% of the total forest land in Tenerife.
Despite the good news, all the troops are still working because, as Melchior said, “We have not dropped our guard.”
The Cabildo congratulated everyone who has been involved in managing the disaster, commenting that everything went as planned and that today should see the situation stabilise in Guia de Isora, “barring any complications.”
Melchior said, “I feel very proud to have such professional people working non-stop.”
Melchior thanked the collaboration of the mayors, such as Mayor Fumero of Vilaflor, who acted with calmness, as well as those of Adeje, Guia and Arona, each one responsible for all relevant sites in their control, willingly accepting orders from the directors of the fire. He thanked the collaboration of various private companies who have selflessly served and sent materials and supplies.
The Cabildo Environment Minister, Ana Lupe Mora, said that the ban remains on activities in the forests and recreational areas of the island.
“The council will sanction anyone who disobeys these fire prohibitions.” Mora said “It is our responsibility to enforce prohibitions on forests and recreational areas.”
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