1,000 firefighters battle wildfires in central Portugal

LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Portuguese authorities say 1,000 firefighters are working to contain wildfires that have injured eight firefighters and one civilian.

Portugal’s Civil Protection Agency says yesterday that firefighters are combating flames that broke out last Saturday across three fronts in the district of Castelo Branco, 200 kilometres northeast of Lisbon, the capital.

Authorities say the injured civilian has been evacuated to a hospital and that firefighters are being supported by 10 firefighting aircraft and hundreds of vehicles.

This is the first major wildfire in Portugal this year.

In recent years, the country has witnessed some of its deadliest fires on record, with 106 people killed in 2017. That year’s death toll prompted the Portuguese government to back stronger firefighting prevention measures, leading to no wildfire deaths in 2018.

Firefighters monitor the progression of a wildfire at Amendoa in Macao, central Portugal. – AFP