Friday, 24 August 2012

Tenerife Wildfires

As many of you will have no doubt heard, Tenerife has suffered a number of damaging wildfires this summer. One of the worst occurred in the southern region of the Corona Forestal pine forest, an area covered in 'Discovering Tenerife on Foot'. The fires were fuelled by the very hot temperatures we have experienced on the island this summer and also the lack of any substantial rainfall in the past eighteen months. The countryside everywhere is tinder dry and only a spark is required to start a devastating fire, and this is indeed what has occurred in numerous locations across the island in the past few weeks, although it is not known if  arson was the cause or carelessness. 

The walks in the book that will have been affected by the fire in the south are:
 2/ Vilaflor Circular
8/ Ifonche Circular
9/ The Cauldron
10/ The Deserted Village

How much the routes have been affected by the fires is not known to me at the moment, it has been far too hot recently to re-walk these routes and I have been deliberately avoiding the hills for the time being until the situation returns to normal. However, the paths should still be intact although the surrounding countryside may look somewhat different. If there is an upside to the fires in the south, they took place in the pine forest and the Canarian Pine is fortunately extremely fire resistant and most will eventually recover. Not so encouraging is the fire in the north-west Monte del Agua laurisilva forest around the Erjos area, this ancient woodland is irreplaceable and tends not to recover in the same way. The neighbouring island of La Gomera has also suffered very badly in the laurisilva forest in the Garajonay National Park. 
Although I haven't been walking, I did drive up to the Las Cañadas National Park and was saddened by the devastation witnessed around the entrance to the park, as seen in the photos. 
As soon as I have re-walked the routes listed above, I will post any updates on the 'Updates & Amendments' page.

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