According to The Guardian, authorities have confirmed that the wildfire on Spain’s Tenerife island, which resulted in the evacuation of thousands of individuals, was intentionally ignited.
Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands. On Sunday (August 20), Canary Island regional president Fernando Clavijo said it was confirmed by the police that the fires raging on the Spanish island since last week had been deliberately lit. He said that three separate lines of inquiry were opened.
The island’s governor Rosa Davila said in a news conference that more than 12,000 people had been evacuated.
The fires started on Wednesday (August 16) in mountainous national park around the Mount Teide volcano. It is Spain’s highest peak.
Tenerife is a popular tourist destination and areas frequented by tourists are so far unaffected. The island’s two airports are operating normally.
Scorching heat and dry weather this summer have contributed to unusually severe wildfires in Europe, including in Spain’s La Palma island in July, and Canada.
Earlier this month, wildfires on Hawaii’s Maui island led to the deaths of more than 110 people. It damaged the historic resort city of Lahaina.
In Tenerife, the fires had burned more than 8,400 hectares of forest by Saturday night. The island’s governor said that the figure was likely to be much higher as fires have not been brought under control.
The wildfires are being touted as the worst in decades for Tenerife Island. Though they have not caused any casualties so far, the flames are still threatening 11 townships. The mountainous region is making it hard for firefighters to control the flames.
Spain has become Europe’s worst affected nation by wildfires. It has accounted for 40 per cent of land scorched by wildfires in the continent.
Weather conditions overnight were “better than expected” Tenerife’s fire brigade said on Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter.