Portugal wildfires: Horrified homeowners tackle blaze as multiple injured by savage flames | World | News


More than 1,000 firefighters battled three blazes sweeping across central Portugal prompting authorities to partially evacuate a village and leaving one person with severe injuries. Strong winds have made it tough for firefighters to put out the blazes, which started on Saturday afternoon in Castelo Branco, a district 225 kilometres (139 miles) northeast of the capital Lisbon. At least 30 people have been injured in the blazes including eight firefighters.

One wildfire made its way to Macao, a municipality in the nearby district of Santarem.

The village was partially evacuated as a precaution, Portugal’s Civil Protection said, adding that one person was taken by helicopter to a Lisbon hospital with first and second-degree burns.

A Macao resident complained to a Portuguese TV channel there weren’t enough firefighters.

They said: “The wildfire came with force. We (residents) had to fight the flames.”

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While Ricardo Aires, the mayor of another affected municipality, Vila de Rei, also told Portugal’s public broadcaster RTP that firefighters and resources were lacking.

Portugal’s armed forces said 20 soldiers were on their way to support the operation, bringing four bulldozers.

The Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said in a statement that he is following the situation closely and sent solidarity to those affected.

Authorities said they hope to bring the wildfires under control by Monday morning.

The blazes come a year after a devastating wildfire in the central town of Pedrogao Grande killed 64 people.

The fire in June 2017 also injured more than 250 people and it is considered the worst disaster in modern Portuguese history.

Vasco Estrela, the mayor of Macao, told Portuguese radio station TSF: “The fire is out of control, without resources on the ground, and the population at risk.

“We never thought we would live through this again.”

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