Extreme temperatures put the Canary Islands on high alert for risk of forest fires

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 10-07-2024
  • National
  • Photo Credit: CW
Extreme temperatures put the Canary Islands on high alert for risk of forest fires

The General Directorate of Emergencies of the Canary Islands Government has declared an alert for the risk of forest fires across Tenerife and the western islands, as well as Gran Canaria starting at 7:00am tomorrow, Thursday, July 11th.

The alert is specifically for areas above 600 metres altitude in the north, and 400 metres in the south of these islands. In Tenerife and Gran Canaria, especially the western and southern slopes, temperatures are expected to reach between 34 and 37 degrees Celsius.

In response to the heightened fire risk, authorities have prohibited all outdoor cooking, barbeques, and any type of fire in the forests of Tenerife until further notice. Residents and visitors are urged to comply with these restrictions to prevent potential wildfires.

Weather Conditions:

The Canary Islands are set to experience a heatwave affecting altitudes between 800 and 2,100 metres, which includes:

- Temperatures generally reaching or exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, with local peaks between 34 and 37 degrees.

- Light haze at higher altitudes.

- Humidity levels dropping below 30% at elevations above 800–900 metres.

- Moderate to strong trade winds, with possible gusts reaching 70–80 km/h.

- Prolonged meteorological drought.

Official Measures:

This alert follows the guidelines of Decree 60/2014, which approves the Special Civil Protection and Emergency Response Plan for Forest Fires in the Canary Islands (INFOCA). In addition to the fire risk alert, the Canary Islands Government has also declared a pre-alert for high temperatures in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, starting from 10:00am on Thursday.

Additional Alerts:

The high-temperature alert complements other pre-alerts issued for strong winds across the archipelago and coastal phenomena in the western province and Gran Canaria.

The State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has issued a yellow warning for maximum temperatures in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, effective from 10:00am on Thursday and currently expected to last until Friday.

As Tenerife and Gran Canaria brace for extreme heat, the Canary Islands Government urges all residents and visitors to stay informed, follow safety guidelines, and take necessary precautions to prevent wildfires during this period of heightened risk.