Portugal, in turn, affected by a major forest fire

Affected by a heat wave, like its southern European neighbors, Portugal is also a victim of fires. This Tuesday, more than 600 Portuguese firefighters tried to reach the end of a forest fire that broke out in the tourist region of the Algarve (south). The start of the flame took place on the night from Sunday to Monday in the town of Castro Marim, in the interior near the Spanish border, and had been temporarily circumscribed before being reactivated in the afternoon.

Then “it advanced in a lightning manner towards the municipalities of Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio”, reaching a perimeter of about 40 kilometers and an estimated surface of 9,000 hectares, said this Tuesday the commander of Regional Civil Protection, Richard Marques in a conference of press.

A firefighter who suffered burns was briefly hospitalized, he said, while a gendarmerie official reported the evacuation of 81 people from a dozen villages. According to testimonies collected by local media, several agricultural and residential buildings were damaged, at least partially, but the authorities have not confirmed this information.

Fanned by the force of the wind, the flames descended from the hills inland toward the coast, to the south. The firefighters, supported by about 200 vehicles and eight planes or helicopters, fear that the weather conditions in the afternoon “will continue to be worrying,” said Richard Marques. Faced with the scorching temperatures conducive to the forest fires that Portugal has suffered since Friday, Lisbon extended the fire alert in force in most of the territory until Tuesday afternoon.

In neighboring Spain, the fire that broke out on Saturday in Navalacruz, near Ávila (center-west), remains “active” at “level 2 dangerousness”, but its development is now classified as “favorable”, according to the authorities of the region of Castilla y León. This forest fire, which mobilized up to a thousand rescuers and numerous air resources, devastated at least 12,000 hectares and caused the evacuation this weekend of about a thousand inhabitants.

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Like dozens of other medium-sized fires, it is the result of the heat wave that has hit Spain since Wednesday, with abnormally high temperatures that rose to 47.4 degrees on Saturday in Andalusia (south), an absolute temperature record registered in the country. according to the national meteorological agency.

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