NewsEuropeFire in Tenerife: in the footsteps of the island's firefighters who have...

    Fire in Tenerife: in the footsteps of the island’s firefighters who have been fighting for a week

    Between fatigue, the particular geography of the island and its unique vegetation, BFMTV followed the mobilized fire soldiers who are struggling to extinguish the flames. Their hard work is starting to pay off.

    Charred trees, a white sheet formed by the ashes covering the ground… The island of Tenerife, in the Canary archipelago, offers a sad spectacle of desolation. But after a week of fierce fighting against the fire which broke out on August 15 in the northeast of the island, the 600 firefighters mobilized are beginning to see the end of the tunnel.

    Although the blaze is not yet over, falling nighttime temperatures and weaker winds have helped them contain the flames which have ravaged nearly 15,000 hectares and forced the evacuation of more than 12,000 people.

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    And this, despite the steep terrain that makes the task of firefighters very complicated. They work on a slope trying not to fall or slip.

    “The northern area of ​​the island in which we are currently starting to be stabilized and to be quieter”, observes Francisco Moreno, technician of risk operations at the microphone of BFMTV.

    Along the ravaged forest on the side of the road which leads to the volcano of Teide, the most touristic point of the island, he adds that the fire continues however “to be active in the southern zone”.

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    Trunks are still smoking. Hot spots that firefighters strive to track down.

    “A Mountainous Island”

    This battle against fire is all the more difficult because of the geography of the island.

    “Tenerife is a mountainous island”, explains Abraham Farina Coelhos, firefighter from Tenerife at the wheel of his 4×4 which struggles to climb the hills. Besides this drop, the unique vegetation, made up of Canary pine 15 to 30m high, does not improve the situation.

    One of the particularities of this tree is to resist fires, and to regenerate afterwards. But it is unfortunately also conducive to the spread of flames.

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    “Its skin is torn off, it withdraws from bottom to top, but the heart of the tree remains intact and grows back”, illustrates the soldier of the fire tearing off a piece of charred bark with a simple gesture of the hand. Below, a reddish trunk, a sign of its vitality.

    At lower altitude, firefighters begin to cool the ground. But fatigue sets in. “It’s a lot of work, between nerves and fatigue, underlines Christina Maldonado, firefighter on the island. Whether it’s Tenerife, the Canary Islands, the volunteers, everyone has done a huge job.”

    By Alize Boissin and Coline Chambolle with Juliette Brossault

    Source: BFM TV

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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