Proença-a-Nova in Portugal: fighting the fire
Photo: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP
Several forest fires destroyed huge areas on the Iberian Peninsula over the weekend. More than a thousand firefighters fought a forest fire in central Portugal on Sunday, which has already claimed the lives of around 7000 hectares of land. More than 20,000 hectares are threatened, said head of operations José Guilherme in front of journalists in Proença-a-Nova.
In the central Portuguese Castelo Branco, eleven people were reportedly slightly injured. The fire broke out on Friday. Civil defense spokesman Jody Rato told journalists that it would probably take a few days to bring the fire under control. In Portugal, there were also several smaller forest fires.
Another 400 firefighters fought a fire in Odemira in southwestern Portugal, where four villages had to be temporarily evacuated. In some regions of Portugal, the temperature was more than 40 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
In Spain, the situation in northern Catalonia and Andalusia was largely under control on Sunday, local authorities said. A forest fire near Portbou, not far from the border with France, was largely brought under control late Saturday evening, according to the Catalan regional government. The fire had covered 573 hectares.
Another forest fire that had kept firefighters on their toes in Spain was that in Bonares, in the province of Huelva, in the south of the country. The flames had been "stabilized" on Sunday, said the emergency service of the region of Andalusia. An estimate of the destroyed area has not yet been given.
Last year, 500,300 hectares were destroyed in 000 fires in Spain, which is increasingly plagued by heat waves and droughts. This year it is already 70,000 hectares.