News24

Fire rages near Tenerife tourist park

2012-07-16 16:18

Tenerife - A forest fire raging on the Spanish island of Tenerife reached the edge of a major tourist park on Monday, spewing thick smoke and red sparks.

The fire broke out on Sunday, prompting emergency services to evacuate 50 villagers from their homes overnight, and has spread over 1 100 hectares, the regional government said on Monday.

Fanned by wind, it reached the edge of the Teide National Park - a mountainous beauty spot centring on the Teide volcano, Spain's highest peak and a Unesco world heritage site.

Coaches and cars were moved from the grounds of the park as a precaution.

It was not immediately clear whether the fire threatened to spread into the natural park.

The regional government of the Canary Islands, the Atlantic archipelago of which Tenerife is part, said 70 firefighters and seven helicopters were busy battling the blaze.

Spain is at higher risk of forest fires than ever this summer after suffering its driest winter in 70 years. One fire in eastern Spain this month ravaged 50 000ha.