Tenerife man arrested for throwing stones at fire-fighting helicopter

A firefighter plane discharges water over Guimar, as wildfires rage out of control on the island of Tenerife

TENERIFE, Canary Islands, Spain (Reuters) - An 80-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly throwing stones at a helicopter being used to extinguish a wildfire that has been raging on the Spanish island of Tenerife for nearly a week.

The stones hit the blades of the helicopter, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing at a nearby football pitch, the mayor's office of the town of Guimar on the Canary Islands said in a statement.

The suspect, 80, is the owner of a reservoir from which the helicopter was scooping up water to try to douse the fire, police said.

"We have one less helicopter because someone threw a stone and rendered it inoperative, due to the impact on the tail rotor," Rosa Davila, head of Tenerife's local government, said on social media.

Local farmers have protested at the use of scarce water resources to douse the fire but Davila said that all the water used would be replaced.

The fire which started on Aug. 15 has so far ravaged almost 15,000 hectares of woodland within the national park surrounding the Mount Teide volcano, Spain's highest peak. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.

(Reporting by Nacho Doce, Inti Landauro and Charlie Devereux, Editing by Angus MacSwan)