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Foreign aircraft drafted in as Portugal fights forest fires


Portugal

Foreign aircraft drafted in as Portugal fights forest fires

Strong winds are hampering efforts to tackle the forest fires in Portugal’s central region of Viseu, as over 350 firefighters struggle to put out the flames.

Six aircraft, including two from Spain and two from France, are being used to dump water onto affected areas.

More than 3,000 hectares have been burnt since the blazes began on Monday, according to Mayor of Viseu Fernando Ruas.

Temperatures have remained above 30 degrees celsius, with winds of up to 40 kilometres an hour – both factors keeping the country’s four main forest fires alive.

The Civil Protection Agency says 200 smaller fires have been reported since midnight on Tuesday.

The ongoing blazes caused Portugal’s government to request help from the EU in the form of aircraft after a Portuguese helicopter participating in a firefighting operation crashed on Tuesday.

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