Raging wildfires force evacuations in Europe

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Raging wildfires force evacuations in Europe

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Residents living near Madeira’s largest city were forced to flee their homes on Thursday, as forest fires continued to rage on the Portuguese island.

One blaze on the outskirts of Funchal is said to have destroyed two houses and damaged at least 25 more.

In all, around 100 people were unable to return to their properties. Some residents were treated for smoke inhalation, but there were no reports of any serious injuries.

Dozens of firefighters have been flown in from Lisbon to help to battle the flames. However, crews are also in demand on the mainland too, where forest fires have broken out in the Algarve region.

Greece is also suffering. A wildfire has been burning in forests near Athens, forcing residents in the southeast suburb of Keratea to evacuate.

The blaze – fanned by strong winds – has torn through vast areas of land, destroying or damaging several houses.

Greece regularly faces wildfires during its dry summer months. However, any large outbreak this year could prove to be a particular challenge for the country’s debt-ridden government.