Around 1,000 people have been evacuated from several towns in Gran Canaria as a vast wildfire spread towards a National Park and an area popular with holidaymakers on the Spanish island, emergency services said.
Firefighters used planes and helicopters to fight the fierce blaze about 20 miles from the capital Las Palmas. The fire poses a threat to several towns as well as the Tamadaba national park on the west of the island, authorities said on Twitter.
Witness Carla Rodriguez described the scene as "one of the most painful images I’ve seen in my life".
Ms Rodriguez was heading to Juncalillo with some friends for a local festival.
"The first time I saw the fire we were reaching the diversion to Juncalillo and I realised how close it was. I did not expect it, since I had read that it was under control in different areas," Ms Rodriguez told Reuters.
"But after the party, when we returned, we decided to look again to see how much the fire had progressed and seeing it out of control was devastating. The tears came out since I love nature and seeing it burn that way was quite worrying."
Police said they believe the fire was started by someone using a soldering iron. A 55-year-old man was arrested on Saturday.
Around 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) have so far been destroyed in the fire, which erupted on Saturday in the western municipality of Artenara near the provincial capital of Las Palmas.
Fire fighters battling the flames seemed to have the upper hand by Saturday evening but a change in wind direction worsened the situation overnight, Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres told Spanish radio COPE on Sunday.
More than 200 fire fighters, including an emergency military unit deployed only for worst-case scenarios, were trying to bring the situation under control, he added.
Ten water bomber planes and helicopters have been mobilised to help contain the fires before the sun went down and winds picked up again.
He said three areas remained of major concern, including one where the fire proved particularly difficult.
The mountainous landscape of the volcanic island, a part of which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in July, has been complicating matters, Torres said.
Spain, the world’s second most popular tourist destination, is frequently plagued by huge forest fires because of its arid climate in summer.