A ferocious inferno has already torn through 300 hectares of land at a national park on the north-east coast within hours of breaking out on Tuesday night.
The flames have quickly spread from a forested area in steep ravines near the Mount Teide volcano, triggering mass evacuations of nearby villages.
Around 150 firefighters, 50 military personnel and 10 helicopters are battling the blaze, but officials have warned it could take more than a day to bring it under control.
Highly flammable pine trees in the area could cause the fires to escalate towards tourist hotspots on the canary island, including Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz, authorities said.
‘The fire is powerful and is in a complicated area,’ Canary Islands regional president Fernando Clavijo told a news conference in Tenerife.
‘Efforts are focused on preventing the fire from spreading and affecting mainly residential areas close to the coast.’
People in the Candelaria province and surrounding areas are in the closest proximity to the fires.
The villages of Arrate, Chivisaya, Media Montaña, Ajafoña and Las Lagunetas have already been evacuated, and local authorities said further measures would be taken today.
Access to the forest surrounding Spain’s highest peak of Mount Teide, as well as the volcano itself has also been cut off.
Pictures from the area show huge plumes of thick black smoke billowing into the sky from the forest area and spreading across nearby communities.
Bright, orange flames can be seen glowing near homes and businesses as helicopters drop water from above.
Rosa Davila, president of the Tenerife council, called on residents and visitors to keep out of the forest areas ‘to prevent any incidents’ amid the risk of the fire spreading further.
She said: ‘This blaze has a huge potential, we have asked for additional means. It mainly affects the Corona Forestal (national park), there are a lot of pine trees and woods.
‘It is a steep area and aircraft are necessary.’
The nature of the area where the fire is burning is reportedly making it more challenging to deal with for firefighters.
Pedro Martinez, head of Tenerife’s emergency services, said multiple secondary fires have broken out.
During the past week, the Canary Islands have been hit by a heatwave with temperatures up to 35C, leaving many areas bone dry and has increased the risk of wildfires, emergency services warned.
This summer, firefighters have extinguished a series of forest fires on the islands of Gran Canaria and La Palma, which form part of the Canary Islands archipelago.
Tenerife’s two airports were operating normally, according to Spanish airport operator Aena.
Catastrophic wildfires have spread across much of Europe and North America in 2023, including in Hawaii where at least 106 people have died.
Josef Aschbacher, director general of the European Space Agency, told Sky News: ‘This is really alarming.
.It just confirms that climate change is the biggest threat to our planet, to humankind, and will remain so for the next decades and we do need to do everything we can to mitigate the effects..
July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.
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