Campaña Contra Incendios de Tenerife 2008 is to incorporate satellite use.

Over 700 personnel, 8 helicopters, 36 vehicles, 8 surveillance towers and three communications networks are the main resources available for the operating unit of the 2008 anti-fire campaign organised by the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife (Tenerife Island Council).

For the first time, the unit will also have the use of a satellite to locate fire sources, new fronts and suspected culprits. The objective is to prevent fires like the ones which devastated part of Tenerife last summer.

There will be a contingent of 375 members, in addition to the Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME – Emergency Military Unit), the Consorcio de Bomberos de Tenerife (Fire-Fighting Consortium) and fire-fighters from Teide National Park.

This year’s presence will be similar in materials and human resources to previous campaigns and is considered the most suitable to face the coming months of high risk. However, the Cabildo de Tenerife is also appealing to the population for their collaboration by exercising extreme care during visits to the mountains.

Last winters low rainfall, together with high relative humidity, rising temperatures and winds in the summer months are all variables that increase the risk of fire. Tourists are reminded to exercise extreme care when visiting the mountains. Last winter was the driest on record since 1948.

So far this year there have been 72 callouts, 7 of which were forest fires, 19 in agricultural areas, which have affected 2 hectares in total, according to information from the Cabildo. 2007 ended with a total of 34 fires, including the great fire that occurred last summer in northwest Tenerife. The Cabildo has invested 4.3 million Euro in various activities to restore the area.