The Guardia Civil’s SEPRONA unit, from the Las Palmas Command, in collaboration with the Fire Investigation Brigade (BIIF) of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, are investigating a 29-year-old man as the alleged originator of the fire forest that started yesterday in the area called Cortijo de Las Huertas in the municipality of Tejeda, in the mountainous summit area of Gran Canaria.

The fire began early on Monday afternoon, July 25, and is estimated to have now reached 300 hectares of Canary Island pine forest and broom. The Civil Guard have already carried out their first investigations in conjunction with a technical visual inspection that was decisive for trying to clarify the causes, verifying how the worker, from a private company that carries out forestry work for the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, at the time the fire started was with three colleagues working with brushcutters in an area of ​​dry grass.

The man and his colleagues said in statements to the investigators they did everything possible to try to put out the flames with two fire extinguishers and other means at their disposal, reporting to 112 as soon as they realised they had no control over the flames.

The man was released by the Guardia Civil who will forward their report to the Arucas court of investigation, on Gran Canaria.

In a note to the press, the Guardia Civil reports that in addition to the investigation into the start of the fire, its agents have carried out preventive security and perimeter work in the affected areas, overseeing roadblocks and evacuations of some 250 people from the fire zone, the nearby populated areas, and the campsites at El Garañón (96 people) and the Camaretas municipal shelter (30 people), who were escorted to a safe zone.

Citizen security personnel from the Las Palmas Command, and from the Traffic Subsector are working to control road closures, the USECIC, SEPRONA and a helicopter from the Fuerteventura Air Unit are participating in the security operation and air resources coordination.

It is worth pointing out, however, that in recent days people have been seen in the very same area, at the lower part of the Llanos de la Pez recreation ground, lighting barbecues, despite this being prohibited during summer fire season (Jul-Sep).  If you are in the mountains please be aware of the dangers, and how quickly an incident like this can get out of control.  Stay safe.