At least 2,000 people have been evacuated from a wildfire on the Spanish island of La Palma as anger continues to spiral out of control. All of this happened in the middle of a heatwave sweeping across Europe, with temperatures exceeding the 40C mark that was measured in southern Spain last week. Warmer temperatures are expected in Spain and other parts of southern Europe next week.
The fire broke out early Saturday morning in El Pinar de Puntagorda, a forested area in the northern part of La Palma in the Canary Islands. Because of the fire, Puntagorda and the neighboring town of Tigaravi were evacuated. Marcos Lorenzo, the mayor of Tigaravi, confirmed the evacuation but did not provide specific numbers.
The fire destroyed at least 12 homes, according to Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo. He also warned that additional evacuations may be necessary depending on whether the strong winds feeding the fire can be controlled. Authorities said the forest fires affected an area of about 4,500 hectares.
To combat the disaster, 150 firefighters from the Spanish Army were deployed to assist the local forces. Firefighters also come from Tenerife, another island in the Canary Islands. Four helicopters and four ground fire units are currently working to contain the blaze on the island off the coast of West Africa. This forest fire is the first natural disaster on the island of La Palma since the volcanic eruption in September 2021, when it destroyed more than 2,000 buildings.
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