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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Portugal and Spain Bring Wildfires Under Control


7Dnews London

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 16:01 GMT

Authorities in Portugal said on August 10th that the major wildfire in the south of the country was under control after a weeklong effort.

The Civil Protection Agency said that almost 1,400 firefighters and nearly 450 vehicles were still at the scene to prevent flare-ups, AP reported. 

At least 41 people were injured, one of them seriously, by the blaze that charred about 27,000 hectares (66,700 acres) of woodland. Several dozen houses are thought to have burned down in the forested hills around Monchique, in Portugal's Algarve region. 

The fire had been burning for a week when the previous day, on August 9th, it was reported to be moving south from the Monchique hills towards the Algarve coast. The government made efforts to prevent a repeat of last year's deadly blazes, which killed 114 people.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters at the time: "The fire will not be extinguished in the next few hours. The coming hours will be especially difficult because of temperature, wind velocity and relative humidity. The firefighting windows of opportunity are limited and focused on night time and dawn." 

He warned that the massive fire burning out of control in the Algarve tourist region would take "days" to put out.  

Portugal’s neighbour Spain was struggling with a five-day wildfire near Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast. Fortunately, officials said they expected to bring it under control by the afternoon on August 10th.