Portugal plagued by heat wave and forest fires, nearly 3,000 firefighters mobilized

Portugal heat wave and forest fires, nearly 3,000 firefighters mobilized

Up to 2,800 firefighters mobilized on Sunday to try to put an end to a series of forest fires which ravaged Portugal, where scorching temperatures prompted the government to reinforce the mobilization of relief by decreeing “the state of contingency ”

The most important outbreak had been raging since Thursday in the Ourém region (center) and alone mobilized nearly 700 firefighters. “The fire arrived 50 meters from the last house in the village Up there everything burned”, testified Donzilia Marques, pointing to the hills located between her hamlet of Travessa de Almogadel and the town of Freixianda.

Evacuated from her home the night before, this 76-year-old retiree was able to return to it on Sunday morning, relieved to discover that no house had been damaged there. The fire, which would have ravaged at least 1,500 hectares of vegetation according to a first estimate, however destroyed at least two homes, according to the emergency services, which reported other temporary evacuations of villages threatened by the flames.

Another blaze mobilizing 450 firefighters had been raging since Friday a few kilometers away, after having declared itself in the municipality of Pombal, also located at the confluence of the districts of Leiria and Santarém. The fires of the last few days have caused around forty minor injuries among firefighters and the population, but most of the victims were treated on the spot for symptoms of intoxication or exhaustion, according to a report provided this Sunday evening by the commander national civil protection, André Fernandes.

For the third consecutive day, peacekeepers had to deal with more than a hundred fire starts across the country, while “the peak of extreme weather” is still to come, underlined André Fernandes. Thermometers have already reached 44 degrees in places, and the Portuguese meteorological institute expects temperatures to continue to rise until the middle of next week.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.