Up to 2,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Gran Canaria on Saturday evening, following the third wildfire in eight days. A frightening video shows firefighters in the middle of the wildfire, as flames ravage surrounding trees. Toppled trees can also be seen in the background, alongside embers floating from above.
The footage, taken on Sunday, was posted on Twitter with the caption: “In the middle of major wildfires on Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
“The fires already affect about 1700 hectares, spreading into Pinar de Tamadba natural park.”
The Government has declared a level one emergency, with the terrifying wildfires covering an area of 2,500 acres.
Seven helicopters and a Hydro plane carrying huge buckets of water have been deployed to the forests, as soaring temperatures threaten to spread the fires.
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The President of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales has expressed fears the wind will change the direction of the fire.
Five other towns including San Mateo, Gáldar, Moya and Artenara have also been affected.
It is not yet known for certain what has caused the fire.
However police said last week they believed the fire was started by someone using a soldering iron. A 55-year-old man was arrested on Saturday in connection with the blaze.
While the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not issued a travel warning to Spain, the FCO has reviewed its information on the risk of forest fires.
The FCO stated: “Forest fires occur frequently in Spain (including Spanish islands) during the summer months. Take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas. Make sure cigarette ends are properly extinguished, don’t light barbecues and don’t leave empty bottles behind.
“You should be aware that causing a forest fire is treated as a criminal offence in Spain even if unintentional. If you see the on-set of a forest fire, call the emergency services on 112.”
The Twitter account of Gran Canaria’s Security and Emergency department tweeted that the residents of the town of Fontanales and Hoya del Cavadero have been evicted from their homes.
They also tweeted a photo of security and emergency services meeting to “assess the work of the troops during the last hours and the evolution of the fire.”