The emergency services of the Canary Islands Government have announced this Sunday that the first forest fire declared on August 10 in Artenara (Gran Canaria) that burned 1,500 hectares, is now considered extinguished.
This was the first of three forest fires that affected the island in the last two weeks, this first one originating due to the negligence of a man doing welding work on a dry grassy patch of land near the GC-21 road, to the north of the summits.
The alleged culprit was a 55 year old, identified with the initials JSR, a resident of the municipality of Telde, who was subsequently arrested by the Guardia Civil just hours after the fire began, but managed to avoid being held in custody in Arucas after the Prosecutor’s Office demanded bail of €25,000 which he subsequently paid.
This fire forced the evacuation of a thousand neighbours from about twenty residential areas in the municipalities of Artenara, Tejeda and Gáldar. A second fire, suspected arson, also burned for one night in the area known as Cazadores, in the hills overlooking Telde and Ingenio, which was quickly extinguished.
On their Twitter account, the main 112 Canarias emergency coordination centre has warned that, despite the extinction of this fire, fourteen days after it started, the population needs to be “very cautious” because the other major forest fire that began in Valleseco nine days ago, which forced to evacuation of nearly 10,000 people, has not yet been declared controlled or extinguished, although is has been “stabilised.”
In this last big fire, the causes for which are being thoroughly investigated by both the Civil Guard and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, firefighters continue to work effectively against any re-ignitions, so they have insisted on asking the population to “not climb to the summit” so as not to hinder the ongoing work or the return to normal for the neighbours and residents only relocated and returned to their homes in the last few days.
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