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‘The sun beds are black, ash is coming down on the pool’

A British woman and her 11-year-old son who are staying in a hotel only a few miles from wildfires raging in Tenerife has described blackened sun beds and “clumps of ash coming down on the swimming pool from the sky”.

Shirley Crowther, 59, a foster carer from Guilford, said she and her son, who has autism, arrived in northern Tenerife on Wednesday, the day the fire started.

The out-of-control wildfire on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife has burnt thousands of acres of land in the north and forced 4,500 to be evacuated from their homes.

Speaking of the moment they arrived to their hotel, only about four kilometres from the fire, where they had planned to stay for a week-long, all-inclusive holiday, Ms Crowther said: “We got off the coach to ash literally falling from the sky, it was terrifying.”

“It’s so miserable and upsetting,” she said, describing “black sunbeds” and pictures of the wildfires covering what would otherwise have been blue skies and a mountain landscape.

Pictures of the wildfire in Tenerife from where Shirley Crowther is staying (Shirley Crowther)
Ms Crowther said it was ‘terrifying’ to be at the hotel as wildfires raged on in the background (Photo: supplied)

Sharing pictures of the soles of her feet turning black from the ash on the floor, she said: “There are big clumps of ash coming down on the swimming pool from the sky so, yea, it’s not great,” before adding: “There is a really strong smell of smoke today. It’s the first day I’ve felt it so strong.”

She said firefighters were staying in the hotel, so “of course it’s one of the closest places [to the wildfire]”.

“It’s disconcerting seeing all the firemen coming in,” Ms Crowther said. “Here you can just see the fires in the background, it’s just awful.”

Ms Crowther told i she was relieved that TUI, the travel agency she booked with, will now be relocating her to the south of the island.

i understands that TUI has made an exception to relocate them because there might be heightened concern for her autistic son, who, she said, has been “really unsettled” by the situation.

There were no concerns over the safety of their customers at the hotel, however,

The regional president, Fernando Clavijo, described the fire as “probably the most complicated blaze we have had on the Canary Islands, if not ever, in at least the last 40 years.”

He said extreme temperatures on the island added to “specific meteorological conditions” caused by the fire that turned the area into a virtual oven.

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