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More than 4,000 people start to return home as Gran Canaria fire stabilizes

Around a thousand firefighters and 16 aircraft continue to work to put out the blaze, which has razed 10,000 hectares of land on the Canary Island since Saturday

Photo: Ash and smoke in the affected area. Video: The aftermath of the fire (Spanish text).
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The wildfire that broke out in Gran Canaria on Saturday is slowly stabilizing, with the drop in temperatures allowing firefighters to secure the homes that had been threatened by the blaze. The improved conditions have meant that around 4,500 locals, of the 9,000 evacuated since Saturday, have been allowed to return home. The remaining half will be given permission to get to their properties once a safety check has been completed.

The fire continues to burn out of control but is expected to be stabilized within the next 48 hours. On Tuesday night, more than 400 firefighters were working to put out the blaze with the help of helicopters and hydroplanes.

A satellite image shows the area affected by the fire.
A satellite image shows the area affected by the fire.

Around a thousand firefighters and 16 aircraft continue to work to put out the fire, which has razed 10,000 hectares of land on the Canary Island since Saturday, including hundreds of hectares of Tamadaba Natural Park. Hydroplanes dropped nearly three million liters of water on the flames between Monday and Tuesday.

The perimeter of the forest fire is currently at 112 kilometers, and the main fronts are located at the pine forest in Tamadaba, and in areas near Guayedra and El Risco, in the Agaete municipality. Spain’s acting defense minister, Margarita Robles, spent Tuesday at the Vallesco command center, monitoring the progress of the fire. The leader of the conservative Popular Party (PP), Pablo Casado, will travel to Gran Canaria on Wednesday to visit the scene of the blaze, which is the worst to hit Spain in six years.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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