The Canary Islands government does not believe the La Gomera wildfire can be stabilized today, (Tuesday), despite improving weather conditions, because, they say, hot spots are likely to be rekindled during the midday and early afternoon heat.
At a lunchtime press conference, the regional director of Security, Javier Gonzalez Ortiz and the head of the Civil Protection Service, Humberto Gutierrez, explained there is a staggered active front stretching from the Las Hayas toa Pajarito, and that the most critical area islocated to the Northwest, towards Vallehermoso.
However, the change in wind direction and a fall in temperatures made it possible for ground crews to work in the area.
The fire is now “less explosive” and its progress is slower because it is going against the wind and is burning already dampened vegetation.
Gonzalez Ortiz said, they are “optimistic”, about Wednesday morning when the trade winds are expected to blow harder and increases the moisture in the air.
In total there are 1,088 hectares affected since the fire started nine days ago.
There are currently five seaplanes active, plus two from Morocco that will become operational early this afternoon, and a total of seven helicopters, all working in rotation so that 70 percent of air assets are always operational during daylight hours.
However there was a hiccup this morning when Seaplanes and helicopters had a serious problem. The La Gomera airport did not have an operator capable of refuelling the aircraft. Sources within the Cabildo say a technician had to be sent from Tenerife .
Some 1,100 people still remain displaced from their homes in Las Hayas, Las Rosas, Los Loros, Vallehermoso town, plus the owners of those houses which were destroyed inValle Gran Rey. Of these, 114 are housed in the shelter in San Sebastián de La Gomera and 71 in the one at Valle Gran Rey.
The La Caixa bank announced today that it is donating 100,000 euros towards the replanting of the areas affected by the fire.