Published July 17, 2012
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain – More than 200 people were evacuated over the last few hours due to wildfires spreading in the Spanish islands of Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera.
The work of extinguishing the fires has been impeded by the high temperatures, strong winds and mountainous terrain.
In the case of Tenerife, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Canary Islands, the blaze that broke out last Sunday has charred 1,800 hectares (4,500 acres) in the municipalities of Adeje and Vilaflor, and has forced 90 people to leave their homes.
The fire has burned its way into the nature reserve of Barranco del Infierno, where an all-out effort is being made to stop the flames from spreading to the island's upland forest.
In La Palma, known as the "green island" because of its great environmental riches, the fire that started Monday has scorched an area of 400 hectares (990 acres) and has forced 100 people to evacuate their homes.
Firefighters plan to control the blaze by keeping it within the bounds of Montaña Quemada Volcano's narrow mountain passes.
According to the head of economy, housing and security for the Canary Islands regional government, Javier González Ortiz, some 160 people have been evacuated in La Palma and several highways have been closed to traffic.
Authorities said that another blaze that was reported in the last few hours on the island of La Gomera in the western part of the Canary Islands was brought under control Tuesday after it burned 7 hectares (17 acres) and 60 people were evacuated.
This island was recently declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.