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Tenerife Fires: Thousands Evacuated On Spanish Island

Tenerife Fires: Thousands Evacuated On Spanish Island

Firefighters on Thursday struggled to contain a wildfire that broke out in a mountainous national park on the Spanish island of Tenerife amid hot dry weather, promoting authorities to evacuate nearly 4,500 people.

"This is the most complex fire we've had in the Canary Islands in the last 40 years", the region's leader, Fernando Clavijo, told a news conference.

He added they were racing to control the blaze before an expected increase in temperatures at the weekend.

While waterboming aircraft managed to stabilize the blaze south of the Mount Teide volcano - Spain's highest peak - the flames advances "out of control" on the northern flank across dry woodland a valley where several camping sites are located, blanketing much of the island with smoke and ash.

"When you go outside you start suffocating. It's as if you have something stuck in your throat", said Alba Gil, 37, a resident of the village of La Esperanza where authorities ordered people to stay home due to the heavy smoke. She and her family stayed up until 4 a.m. worried about the flames higher up the mountain.

The fire, watch broke out on Wednesday, has burned through at least 2,600 hectars of land.

Scorching heat and dry weather this summer have contributed to unusually severe wildfires in Europe and western Canada. Hawaii's Maui was also hit by wildfires which have killed at least 106 people, forced tens of thousands of people to calculate and devastated the historic resort city of Lahaina.



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