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Tenerife, part of Spain’s Canary Islands, is dealing with a wildfire deemed “out of control,” prompting the evacuation of thousands.

Emergency services reported over 26,000 evacuations by Saturday afternoon, a significant surge from the previous day’s 4,500. As the wildfire enters its fourth day, it engulfs the island that houses approximately a million residents and is also frequented by tourists.

Helicopters, working tirelessly, were spotted dousing flames threatening residential areas. Although “5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) have been burned” with a sprawling perimeter, Tenerife Council President Rosa Davila confirmed that no homes had succumbed to the flames and that the primary focus was to “protect people’s lives.”

The fire’s origin traces back to the surroundings of the Mount Teide volcano amidst arid weather. According to Canary Islands regional President Fernando Clavijo, police believe the fire was started deliberately and currently have three investigations that are currently underway. Police have declined to comment if any arrests have been made.

Tenerife, like the majority of mainland Spain, has been grappling with prolonged drought.


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