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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Portugal. Fire. Heat wave. Evacuees, wounded. “Fire is everywhere”

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Portugal is struggling with forest and wasteland fires. The fight with the element is made difficult by high temperatures, sometimes reaching 40 degrees Celsius. 82 people were injured.

There is a heatwave in Portugal. Much of the country is covered by red high temperature alerts. Such an aura makes it difficult to fight fires.

About 1,700 firefighters supported by 501 vehicles on Tuesday faced 14 active fires across the country, the country’s civil defense authorities said.

Fires in Portugal. Dozens of injured people

As a result of forest and wasteland fires spreading in Portugal since Thursday, 82 people have been injured, the country’s civil defense authorities said on Tuesday evening. According to the estimates of the Portuguese services, more than 50 people were injured by fire during the last day alone. Most of those affected by the natural force, exacerbated by tropical heat, are inhabitants of the central part of the country, mainly the districts of Santarem and Leiria. According to the commander of Portuguese civil defense Andre Fernandes, more than 50 people injured by the element are firefighters. Meanwhile, as the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) warned, on Wednesday, as air temperatures continue to rise, the risk of further fires is expected to increase.

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Fires in Portugal PAP / EPA / PAULO CUNHA

Portuguese firefighters are fighting the fire PAP / EPA / NUNO ANDRE FERREIRA


Portuguese firefighters are fighting the fire PAP / EPA / NUNO ANDRE FERREIRA

Three hundred people were evacuated. “Fire is everywhere”

Three hundred inhabitants of Ourém, in the Santarém district, were evacuated on Tuesday. Several houses burned down in the nearby commune of Leiria, and fires shut down three major highways.

Joaquim Gomes, a 75-year-old pensioner who has lived in the tiny village of Ourém for fifty years, said he was concerned that the fire might reach his home, but was willing to do whatever he could to help fight it .

“I don’t remember anything like what’s happening now,” said Joaquim Gomes. “Fire is everywhere,” he added. Many locals complained that there were not enough firefighters and resources to fight the fires.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / PAULO CUNHA

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