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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Portugal declares state of alert over wildfires

Firefighters have brought a huge wildfire sweeping across central Portugal under control. But with the risk of further outbreaks high, the country has been placed on alert.

By: | Published: July 28, 2020 3:18:59 pm
'It is still a mystery': War-hit Yemen struggles to trace COVID-19 infection The government says more than 12,000 firefighters are on standby, backed by 60 water bombers. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi/Representational)

Portugal has issued a fire alert for Monday and Tuesday amid hot conditions, as more than 800 firefighters successfully fought a huge wildfire blazing across central regions of the country.

The country’ meteorology agency, IPMA, said the risk of fire was elevated in most of the country, with temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius (99 F) in some regions. The alert puts firefighters, police and emergency medical services in increased readiness, and there is a ban on lighting fires along with limits on forest access.

The government says more than 12,000 firefighters are on standby, backed by 60 water bombers.

Several injured

The alert, the second in 10 days, comes as a wildfire raging in the municipality of Oleiros and two neighboring municipalities over the past two days was brought under control on Monday morning.

The fire had forced a number of people to evacuate their homes and endangered houses as it approached isolated villages.

A 21-year-old firefighter was killed in a road accident on Saturday while fighting the fire. Several other people were injured in the crash.

Two other firefighters have already been killed this summer in the course of their work.

Two major blazes in the country three years ago claimed the lives of 106 people.


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