Evacuations as Gran Canaria hit by new blaze

August 18, 2019
A firefighter douses a forest affected by wildfires in Gran Canaria on the Spanish Canary Islands on August 13, 2019

Authorities in the Spanish island of Gran Canaria were evacuating a luxury hotel and tourist spot on Saturday as a new forest fire broke out just days after another blaze raged in the same area.

On its Twitter account, the island council said it was evacuating the Cross of Tejeda, a mountain pass popular for its spectacular views in the centre of Gran Canaria, and a nearby luxury hotel.

It was unclear how many people were being evacuated.

The council added it was blocking off roads near the blaze.

"Leave the area," it warned in capital letters.

The blaze comes just five days after firefighters managed to contain a in the same area of the Canary Islands archipelago that had sparked the evacuation of hundreds of people.

At the time, had warned that strong gusts of wind and an impending heatwave could fan the remaining embers into another fire.

Firefighters in Gran Canaria said helicopters had been sent to the zone.

In a statement, they said the blaze "doesn't look good at all with this temperature, winds and low humidity".

Water-dropping planes were not readily available as they had gone back to mainland Spain, over 1,000 kilometres away, they added.

© 2019 AFP