In addition to what was said in the previous press conference today the latests official updates about the Tenerife fire evolution includes some good positive news.
The evolution of the fire which broke out last Sunday [15th July] in Ifonche (Adeje) is following the expected parameters, with the secured perimeter except the west side being attacked on the ground and from the air according to the Minister for Security at the Cabildo (Tenerife Government), Jose Antonio Valbuena.
Speaking at a press conference held this afternoon [19 July 2012] at the headquarters of CECOPIN in Santa Cruz, Sr. Valbuena says that fire fighters are cooling down other hotspots near the perimeter. At the southern front, the presence of smoke does not mean there is any danger of the fire starting to burn again so the residents of Vilaflor, Ifonche and Tijoco Alto, in Adeje, can return to their homes, although special care should be taken by people with respiratory problems.
Valbuena also stresses that they have already begun removing some heavy equipment in certain areas because it was no longer needed. At the moment we are making progress in the work to restore water to the Vilaflor area.
Humberto Gutierrez, head of Civil Protection of the Canary Islands Government, says “the perimeter is the same yesterday, except to the west. The fire has been contained and remains stable, also the weather conditions are good and strong winds are not foreseen.”
“Once people and property are safe, which is our priority, we shall now concentrate our full force on defending the environment. This morning helicopters flew into the affected gorges on the west side. The vegetation at these points consists of more open pine forests that allow ground crews to work safely and supported by air assets.”
The active part of the fire is progressing slowly and with good conditions for its extinction. At the same time, brigades are cooling down hot spots to prevent the fire from flaring up again and along the entire perimeter, brigades have been stationed. As for the forecast for the next few hours, the fire is static at its flanks and tail end. If we fail to stop the flames advancing to the west, the blaze will eventually die out on the slope of the lava flow, as planned. Anyway, “while there are places where the fire is still burning, we cannot say that the blaze is under control,” stresses Gutierrez.
Regarding road closures:
the only roads still cut are
- TF-38 (Chio-Boca Tauce, km 22) and
- TF-21 (Vilaflor-Boca Tauce, at kilometres 47 and 67).
These will be closed for several days to facilitate the work of extinction. Finally, power has been restored to a power line affecting the supply to Vilaflor and La Escalona.
Next press conference will be tomorrow morning