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Europeans rally to help fight Portugal wildfires

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Europeans rally to help fight Portugal wildfires


Firefighters from across Europe are scrambling to battle a series of wildfires raging across Portugal.

At least two helicopters are being sent from the Netherlands and three from Germany, along with experts to help tackle around 30 blazes in wood and farmland. France and Spain have already sent water-dropping planes while support from Italy is expected to arrive today. Northern and central Portugal have been worst affected by the fires which have left 15 people dead. While visiting the hardest hit areas, the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, welcomed the rapid response from member states to the situation. To make matters worse, several fires thought to have been put out have been rekindled by the hot and windy weather. It is the third year running that Portugal’s faced such forest fires but more damage has been caused by far this year with 140,000 hectares destroyed. A cloud of smoke now surrounds Portugal’s third largest city, Coimbra. However conditions may improve on Wednesday with forecasters predicting cooler temperatures and lighter winds.
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