Holidaymakers heading to the Canary Islands should be aware that forest fires in several areas of Tenerife and the small island of La Gomera, are set to accelerate at an alarming rate due to very high winds fanning the flames. Advice released by an ABTA spokesman earlier today (Monday) that "the inconvenience for holidaymakers is confined to a few excursions" is not only wrong but highly dangerous and misleading writes Travel Expert Julian Bray [01733 345581].
To add to the situation holidaymakers who try and cancel their all inclusive holiday bookings will find that until a full state of emergency is declared, they will be financially liable for the overall holiday contract to both the holiday company and possibly may face a secondary claim by the local hotelier. The advice is to numerous pictures and videos, maintain detailed diary and keep all paperwork, as claims could well be made against insurance, and or the travel company at a later date.
The further advice is to take cash in addition to credit cards, as the fires are already impacting on electrical and telecommunications installations on the islands and impacting on ATM's and banking systems.
The two Forest Fires which have been burning on the island of La Gomera, part of the cluster of Canary Islands since the weekend are rapidly heading for the Garajonay National Park, and are in danger of joining up as strong winds have fanned the forest fire into the stgart of a firestorm already consuming some 2,600 hectares of land.
"The fire is now officially out of control in the Barranco de Benchijigua, this area is virtually impossible to deal with on land. With regard to the position at Chipude, this area is now stabilized and the population centres are “relatively safe ” said the Canary Government minister, Javier González Ortiz.
The Kamov helicopter based in Tenerife and the Canary Islands Government helicopter based in El Hierro have moved to La Gomera, the fire that started in Alajeró has reached the heights of Garajonay, within the National Park, and has cut off the road between San Sebastian de La Gomera and Valle Gran Rey in the south of the island.
Overnight precautionary emergency evacuations have taken place in the villages of Chipude and San Sebastian de La Gomera county.
Meanwhile in Tenerife local sources report that a fire that is thouyght to have started in hilly parts of Tenerife over the weekend has affected at least eight towns in the north and west of the island, and could spread to parts of the south by Tuesday.
The lethal combination of scorching temperatures, very low humidity and relentless strong winds have combined to turn the forests at the foot of the volcanic Mt Teide into a virtual tinder box, local firefighters say the slightest spark from the hot ash blown from the established forest fires all over the area are rapidly starting new fires, which has now destroyed several thousand hectares of pines which are easily to ignite. Firefighters backed by helicopters and a water scoop aircraft are tackling flames from Los Realejos to Santiago del Teide, confirmed the local Department of the Environment.
Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK