Nature is often quick to remind us that it has it’s own destructive force, that once unleashed, is difficult to stop. Last weekend the intense heat of the Calima (sand and dust blown in from Africa that traps in heat and humidity) left the islands tinder dry and on La Gomera, an act of stupidity, by a local man burning stubble on his land, ignited two largeÂ forest fires that destroyed 800 hectares of agricultural and low mountain land, and led to 400 people being evacuated from their homes on Saturday.
It could have been even worse, a concerted effort from fireÂ fightersÂ from all the islands, backed with helicopter water drops from 6 air fire fighting units, brought the fires under control withinÂ 4 days. One fire was in VallehermosoÂ but the main one was in Hermigua, at the edge of Garajonay National Park. Â
Tenerife suffered a smaller outbreak of over 1,600 square metres in the Barranco del Moro between Los Realejos and San Juan de las Ramblas in the north. Local authorities across all 7 islands are advising extreme caution during the hot summer months and restrictions are in place on traditional family barbecues in the hills.
A 53 year old man from Ibo Ifaro has been charged with accidentally starting the La Gomera fire. In the last couple of years Tenerife and El Hierro have suffered from extensive fire outbreaks.