This content is not available in your region

Portugal wildfires claim another life

Portugal wildfires claim another life
Text size Aa Aa

Reduced to using buckets of water, residents of Santiago do Caramulo in Portugal spent Thursday night and Friday morning fighting wildfires around their homes.

Over 2,000 firefighters and 250 vehicles have been tackling at least 11 blazes across northern and central Portugal.

Five emergency workers have now died in the blazes, the latest was a 21-year-old female firefighter. Two more are seriously injured, four are reported missing.

One local resident of the area said it is unprecedented: “Nothing like this has happened in the past 80 years. I can’t remember ever seeing such a fire.”

Visiting the area, Portugese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coehlo, said the fires were started deliberately.

“We know that many of these situations have been caused by arsonists, and it’s impossible to respond to multiple fires started simultaneously, which is why we are in this situation.”

The fires have been fueled by temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius and strong winds especially in the ranges of hills and dense woodland. Portugal is also in the grip of a drought.