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Wildfires in Tenerife force thousands to evacuate or stay indoors

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More than 7,500 people have been evacuated or ordered to stay indoors as the worst wildfire in at least four decades ravages the Canary island of Tenerife, burning through 2,600 hectares (6,425 acres) of land and drawing closer to the capital, Santa Cruz.

Fernando Clavijo, the regional president of the Canaries, said more than 250 firefighters – backed by military emergency crews and 17 aircraft – were working to tackle the fire, which broke out in the north-east of the island on Tuesday and which currently has a 32km (20-mile) perimeter.

“The night has been very tough,” he told a press conference on Thursday. “This is probably the most complicated blaze we’ve had on the Canary Islands – if not ever, at least in the past 40 years.”

Vicky Palma, a technical adviser to the Tenerife authorities, said “a fire on a scale not seen in the Canaries since record began” was creating its own meteorological conditions and showering hot ash on the El Rosario municipality in the north-east of the island.

Clavijo said the evacuation and confinement orders had been issued in an…

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