More than 1,000 firefighters battle wildfires in Portugal

Updated: Jul 22, 2019, 09:58 IST | Agencies

Around 20 people were injured in the blaze that also included firefighters

More than 1,000 firefighters battle wildfires in Portugal
Firefighters monitor the wildfire at Amendoa in Portugal. Pic /AFP

Amendoa: Planes and helicopters joined more than a thousand firefighters in central Portugal Sunday to battle huge wildfires in a mountainous region where over 100 people died in huge blazes in 2017.

By 12:30 pm (1130 GMT), one of the biggest mobilisations ever seen in the area – including 1,300 firefighters and 400 vehicles – had been deployed to fight the blazes in the heavily forested Castelo Branco region, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Lisbon, the rescue services said.

Around 20 people were injured in the blaze, including eight firefighters and 12 civilians, according to interior ministry figures.

One badly burned civilian was evacuated by helicopter to Lisbon. The biggest effort - 800 firefighters, 245 vehicles and 13 planes and helicopters – battled to douse flames in the municipality of Vila de Rei, which had spread nearly 25 kilometres.

"Only the fire at Vila de Rei remains active," Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita told a news conference.

Authorities were looking into whether the fires may have been started deliberately, Cabrita said.

Two other forest fires reported on Saturday have since been brought under control.

The fires, fanned by strong winds, had broken out on Saturday afternoon in the more inaccessible areas in the Castelo Branco region.

1,300
No. of firefighters involved

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