Thousands evacuated as major wildfire rages on Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
More than 8 000 people were evacuated from dozens of towns on Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain after wildfire which broke on Saturday, August 17, 2019, near the town of Tejeda spread in two directions and scorched more than 1 700 (4 200 acres) of land by Sunday afternoon, August 18.
Authorities evacuated at least 40 towns near Valleseco on Sunday and initiated a huge operation with more than 700 emergency responders, 9 helicopters and 2 planes.
Canary Islands' regional president, Angel Victor Torres, said Sunday the blaze was neither contained nor stabilized or controlled.
By Monday morning, August 19, the fires spread to more than 3 400 ha (8 400 acres) and forced more than 8 000 to evacuate.
"We are facing a complicated situation in which the security of the people is the priority now," Torres said. He urged the entire population to follow safety instructions from emergency crews.
The town of Tejeda was evacuated last week after the first fire in a week rip through a similar area. It burned through 1 500 ha (3 706 acres) of land and forced the evacuation of 1 000 people.
Featured image credit: Gran Canaria Island Council
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