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Portugal fears fire risk from late heatwave

Portugal fears fire risk from late heatwave
By Robert Hackwill
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High unseasonal temperatures are good news for tourists, but bad news for Portugal's dried-out forests, with strong winds forecast.


Many parts of Europe are experiencing unseasnal late October heat, but Portugal is in the middle of a veritable heatwave. While this is great for relaxing on the beach, for the country’s tinder-dry forests and hard-pressed
firefighters, it’s a nightmare.

“Most of continental Portugal has temperatures above 28 degrees Celsius right now. There will also be an increase in strong, dry winds coming from the East, and this is bad for fires. This will be the case especially in the north and central regions, in the highlands of the north and center. From the 28th onwards there could also be gusts of winds up to 60 kilometres per hour,” says a Meteorologist at the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere, Maria Joao Frada.

For visitors the weather couldn’t be more welcome, however, even if their home countries may also be basking in some balmy weather.

“As tourists it is good for us of course, but for nature I don’t think it is good, because it does not allow it to have the time to transition into autumn and winter. We see flowers blooming, I don’t think it’s normal that they still flourish like that. This is not normal,“said a French woman from Strasbourg.

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