The fire at the composting plant in south Tenerife now covers 35,000 square metres

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 13-01-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: 112 Canarias
The fire at the composting plant in south Tenerife now covers 35,000 square metres

The fire that broke out on Thursday at the composting plant in Parque La Reina, in the south of Tenerife, is affecting 3.5 hectares of the facility, as confirmed by Florencio López, an official from the Tenerife Fire Consortium, yesterday, who added that the origin of the fire is still unknown.

Fortunately, the smoke emanating from the blaze does not contain toxic particles as it stems from vegetative residues, thus posing no threat to the population.

Approximately 100,000 tons of compost, wood, and vegetative material are currently ablaze, with firefighting efforts expected to extend over several days. López outlined the operational details alongside Rosa Dávila, the president of the Tenerife Cabildo, and Arona's mayor, Fátima Lemes.

Firefighting teams are focusing on the larger material piles, utilizing machinery and water hoses to suppress the flames, while smaller stacks are expected to burn naturally. Efforts are being intensified on the motorway side as the weather is making it spread towards the TF-1.

Twenty firefighters have been actively engaged, supported by two helicopters – one from the Government of the Canary Islands' Emergency and Rescue Group (GES) and the other from the island's forest brigades (BRIFOR). Additional personnel from the Emergency Medical Service (SUC), the Guardia Civil, and the Local Police, as well as members of Civil Protection, have been deployed.

The fire at the composting plant in south Tenerife now covers 35,000 square metres

In response to the fire's proximity, approximately 180 animals in the vicinity of the composting plant were evacuated. Esperanza del Sur and Live PAWS shelters were specifically affected, with most animals relocated to other shelters or cared for by volunteers. The Animal Protection Centre in Tierra Blanca (Fasnia) has also been prepared to accommodate animals if needed.

Local authorities urge residents in Parque La Reina, Buzanada, Guaza, Cabo Blanco, and Valle de San Lorenzo to follow safety instructions. Recommendations include closing doors, windows, and all ventilation systems to prevent smoke from entering homes. Outdoor activities, especially for children and the elderly, should be minimised, and the use of masks is advised when venturing outside.

Seven people have received medical attention, with two – a man and a firefighter with an eye injury – being transferred to hospital for further treatment. Authorities continue to monitor the situation, urging the public to stay informed and exercise caution in the affected areas.