Fires rage on Tenerife
Firefighters have been working for days to contain the out-of-control wildfires on the Spanish holiday island of Tenerife.
Working day and night
Firefighters from the EIRIF unit responsible for the Canary Islands are working at full speed to battle the wildfires on the island of Tenerife. Currently, about 2,000 hectares (some 5,000 acres) of forest are on fire or have already burned.
Escaping the flames
Residents in Candelaria have fled the flames threatening their homes. Due to the thick smoke, the villages of Arrate, Chivisaya, Media Montana, Ajafona and Las Lagunetas have been evacuated as a precaution. The roads leading to the mountains in the island's northeast have been closed.
Support from the air
Thirteen airplanes and helicopters are in action, as well as around 250 firefighters. The forest fires were preceded by an extreme heat wave, and now the fires are so intense that dropped water often evaporates before it even reaches the flames.
Saving people and livestock
In addition to people, livestock must be brought to safety — as well as domestic animals, like this young emu. The president of the regional government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, has called the wildfires the "most complicated fire" of the past 40 years and urged firefighters to prevent the blaze from spreading further.
Some of the fires are located in difficult-to-access areas. Where firefighters can't go, firefighting helicopters are trying to get a grip on the situation. In July, fierce fires also raged on the neighboring island of La Palma, burning more than 4,500 hectares.
No rain in the forecast
In persistently high temperatures, the firefighters in their thick protective suits move on to the next mission. Meanwhile, the fire has jumped the ridge and reached the other side of the island — doubling in size within a few hours. Columns of smoke rise high into the sky — and there is no rain in sight.