A fire started on August 15, 2023 in the city of Arafo in Tenerife, a Spanish island off the coast of Western Sahara and Morocco. It was a wildfire and therefore preventable, and yet 6.3% of the island still burned.

This fire is a first for Tenerife and spread rapidly and out of control. 13,000 people were evacuated and hundreds of firefighters were deployed to contain the growing flames. The speed of the fire could be attributed to the amount of unkempt dead wood and dry material not previously taken care of.

The island, as a tourist location, had to be evacuated of all tourists because of the disaster. The fire left residual ash causing an atrophy in air quality and the residents said they could barely breathe. They had to wear masks until the weather improved. The fire disturbed the workforce and education of Tenerife’s student population, while the smoke and fire caused some stores to close. After 16 days, on August 31, the fires were finally put out and everyone was able to return to their homes safely.