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Heatwave re-ignites Portuguese wildfires

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Heatwave re-ignites Portuguese wildfires


High temperatures and strong winds have brought the return of wildfires to Portugal.

Fifteen hundred firefighters have been battling a total of around 30 fires. Most are in the north and centre of the country, although one has been blazing about 30 kilometres west of Lisbon.

Several fires which it was thought had been contained on Tuesday night, flared up again when the winds whipped up in the morning.

Firefighters who were flat out in July are again being stretched to the limit.

“We’re all exhausted, people have no strength left,” said one firefighter. “It takes lots of courage to be here fighting the fires, and people have been here for 48 hours non-stop.”

In the north close to the Spanish border at least three fires broke out in the Peneda-Geres national park. The authorities said initially at least only undergrowth had burned, and the forest had been spared.

The fires which have so far stayed clear of residential areas, claimed the lives of two people earlier this week.

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