Canary Islands fire forces evacuations

July 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM
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VILAFLOR, Canary Islands, July 18 (UPI) -- At least 1,800 people have been evacuated from their homes as forest fires burned across Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, officials said Wednesday.

The fires on Tenerife have been raging since Sunday, but fires on the islands of La Palma and La Gomera, were mostly under control Wednesday, thinkSpain reported.

Emergency services personnel evacuated hundreds of residents from Vilaflor and were building a firewall around the town to protect it.

The eastern face of the fires was the most difficult to bring under control because of low humidity, emergency officials said. Some parts of the blaze were unreachable by land, limiting firefighting efforts to hydroplanes.

The Canary Islands is a Spanish archipelago just off the northwest coast of Africa.

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