As things start to get back to normal after the recent wildfires across the Canary Islands, the Canarian Government met in an extraordinary session today to approve a decree which establishes grants for those affected.
There is emergency relief of up to 4,000 euros per family to address basic needs. This is aimed at those who have lost their homes and/or basic needs; clothes, appliances etc.
Grants of between 7,500 and 30,000 euros were also approved for owners whose property has been damaged in the fires.
To qualify the property must have been in use as a primary residence or working farm up to the outbreak of the fire and the family’s income must not exceed more than 4.5 times the national average wage.
The decree also establishes steps to ensure, in conjunction with the affected local governments, replacement of affected assets and repair and restoration of public goods and services where necessary.
All grants and measures outlined in this decree are over and above, where applicable, those already established or which may be provided by any other government agency.
President of the Canarian Government, Paulino Rivero, underlined that local authority mayors play a fundamental role in these emergency situations.
He went on: “Although we already have more aircraft per hectare than any other Spanish autonomous community, we have contracted more aerial assets, which can better combat these fires.
“We are also requesting that the three state hydroplanes remain in the archipelago until October 31 and that a permanent hydroplane base is established here, at least during the summer months”
In La Gomera the director of the Garajonay National Park has confirmed the fire there has been stabilized. “The entire perimeter of the fire is now covered with various lines of defence and has all been dampened down, although there are still hot spots that are close to the edge so we have to ensure the flames do not revive and go into areas that have not been burned,” he said.
Meanwhile, the La Gomera Cabildo fears that the PR damage to the island’s image may be worse than the actual fire damage to vegetation.
Local hoteliers say there have been many booking cancellations for the coming weeks.
One businessman said: “We would never detract from the drama that we lived through, but we must continue being a centre of tourist excellence”
The famous El Cedro and La Laguna Grande beauty spots have been saved and a large proportion of the hiking trails have not suffered damage and will open again once the all clear is given.
Currently all 18 routes inside the National Park are affected and 13 of the 40 wider network of hiking trails are closed off . A full list is available here