Helicopter applying water on a forest fire in Risco Blanco on southern Gran Canaria today, Monday. Photo: Cabildo de Gran Canaria
09 Jul 2018

Heat wave over Canary Islands prompts activation of emergency plan for forest fires - here´s how they educate the public


Long-term drought and heat waves prompts the Canary Islands Health and Safety Directorate-General to activate its contingency plan to combat forest fires from midnight today, Monday.

By Hugo Ryvik hugo.ryvik@canariajournalen.no

Citizens are advised to be very careful to avoid starting wildfires on the land:

- Extinguish matches and cigarettes and do not throw them out of the car window.

- It is forbidden to make fires in any form in nature and on the land except in recreational areas that are adapted for this purpose.

- It is advised not to throw bottles or other glass objects (which may act as a fire glass) on the ground or in the wild.

- Do not camp outside areas authorized for this purpose.

- If you detect a fire and can not extinguish it yourself, call 112 to alert the rescue service.

- If the fire spreads quickly, move away from the flames in the opposite direction of the propagation direction of the fire.

- Never go into ravines or distant areas and never attempt to escape from the fire by moving upwards to higher terrain.

- Do not walk or drive into areas where there is a fire or heavy smoke development.

- If you are surrounded by flames, flee to the flattest area with the least vegetation and try to go to already burned areas.

- If necessary and possible, lay down and breathe through wet clothes.

- When a fire occurs, the roads are closed for persons other than auxiliary and emergency vehicles to prevent roads being blocked and to facilitate fire extinguishing equipment.

Today, Monday there was a forest fire in Teror in the north of Gran Canaria and one in Risco Blanco in the south of Gran Canaria. Both quickly came under control using two fire extinguisher helicopters.

From today, the Canary Islands Health Directorate has activated the preparedness plan for health effects of high temperatures, and the weather institute Aemet has activated yellow warning for temperatures above 34 degrees.