Dozens of forest fires raging across parts of northern Spain have left at least three people dead. Yesterday a man trying to put out a fire threatening his home was confirmed as the third fatality. Officials say many of the blazes in the regions of Catalonia and Galicia were started deliberately. The army has been asked to help evacuate people in danger. Regional officials have described arsonists taking advantage of the scorching summer heat as “fire terrorists”.
It is thought about 5,000 hectares of woodland are alight. Across the border in northern and central Portugal, firefighters have been battling several blazes said to be out of control, two of which were threatening nearby towns. Sunday was reportedly the worst day for the fire service in four years.
The last four summers have seen fires devour some 870,000 hectares of forestland in Portugal. And with temperatures set to remain high, authorities there have declared an orange alert – the second highest level for fires.