The European Commission is to provide €45 million to Portugal to help deal with the consequences of the fires in the center of the country.
Blazes over the last week have left 86 wounded, seven seriously, and around 1,200 firefighters, 300 vehicles and nearly twenty aircraft or helicopters have been mobilized.
The first of these two fires, which ravaged the neighboring towns of Maçao and Vila de Rei, broke out on Tuesday evening.
But the situation worsened on Wednesday night and about 80 people from Maçao, a town with about 2000 residents, had to be evacuated, and around fifty others in the neighboring communes of Sardoal and Abrantes.
“It is impossible to leave or return to Maçao because of the flames and the smoke. The fire is progressing without respite,” said mayor, Vasco Estrela.
According to him, “80 to 90%” of the municipality was consumed by the flames, because it had already been ravaged by fire at the end of July.
In Vila de Rei, in the district of Castelo Branco fires have been active since August 15, where 363 firefighters and a hundred ground vehicles are tackling the blaze.
In the district of Vila Real (in the north of the country) 97 firemen, 21 vehicles and 2 aircraft are tackling a blaze that broke out on the 16 August.
On Thursday morning (17 August) a blaze broke out in the district of Viseu (Central region), mobilizing 69 firefighters, 13 land vehicles and 3 aircraft.