More than 2,000 residents have been evacuated from the Spanish island of La Palma due to a raging wildfire.
The fire in La Palma began early Saturday morning in El Pinar de Puntagorda, a forested territory in the north of the Canary Island.
The evacuation of Puntagorda and neighboring Tijarafe occurs as Europe swelters in a heatwave with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.
The fire has affected approximately 4,500 hectares of land, and at least 12 homes have been incinerated, according to authorities.
Fernando Clavijo, the president of the Canary Islands, stated that the number of individuals who need to be evacuated could increase. It depends on whether we can subdue these high winds.”
Clavijo stated that the Spanish army has deployed 150 firefighters to assist local crews in fighting the fire and that additional firefighters are approaching from the neighboring island of Tenerife.
Four firefighting helicopters and four firefighting units on the ground were fighting over the island, which is part of a Spanish archipelago off the coast of western Africa.
The forest fire is the first natural disaster to strike the island since September 2021, when a volcano erupted.
When lava began pouring out of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, over 2,000 structures were destroyed, and tens of thousands of people were compelled to abandon their homes.
The island was covered in ash for three months until the eruption ceased.