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Thursday, 21 September 2017 05:55

FIRE UPDATE: Flames Lose Intensity Overnight But Strong Winds A Danger

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The Gran Canaria forest fire reaches Cruz de Tejeda The Gran Canaria forest fire reaches Cruz de Tejeda

Heavy cloud and some rain during the night in the Gran Canaria highlands have drained the Gran Canaria forest fire of much of its intensity although it is still burning.

The first helicopter flights won't be until 09.00 this morning so we won't know the full extent of the fire until then. However, temperatures crashed overnight and initial reports are that there are no active fronts this morning. The wind is forecast to increase throughout the day which could reactive any spots that are still smouldering.

The ferocious fire started at around 14.30 yesterday and, fanned by strong winds, ripped through the popular Cruz de Tejeda tourist spot within 90 minutes. The flames reached heights of over twenty metres as they moved through the pine forest.

Over 20 square kilometres has already burned and the flames have affected the high parts of five Gran Canaria municipalities. Hundreds of people (800 according to the latest reports) from villages including Lagunetas and La Culata were evacuated and are sheltering in San Mateo and other towns. 

Firefighters and soldiers, plus nine helicopters and planes, battled the twenty-metre flames yesterday evening and teams continued to work throughout the night. Over 300 people are actively fighting the flames.

All roads up into the centre of Gran Canaria are cut off and the authorities are asking everyone to stay off the island's rural roads to allow firefighters as much freedom as possible. 

There are no reports of casualties and initial reports are that the Cruz de Tejeda Parador hotel and the Pico de las Nieves military base escaped serious damage. 

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Smoke rising from the Gran Canaria forest fire GranCanariaTv.com
Read 1377 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 September 2017 07:19
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