Portuguese firemen battle raging forest blaze
The fire is situated in the mountainous region of Viseu. The difficult terrain in which the blaze is situated has made it impossible for the authorities to drive their fire trucks to the scene.
Firefighters, many from other districts, have accessed the fires on foot or horseback, carrying water and other equipment to the scene. Water-dropping helicopters are also being used to extinguish the least accessible fires.
Whilst the blaze has claimed no casualties, a number of properties and crops have been destroyed.
Local authorities are concerned about high winds blowing through the region, elemental forces which cause wildfires to spread much faster. They are nevertheless hopeful that the fire can be controlled “within a matter of hours”, according to Lusa Henrique Pereira, the fire department’s district commander.
The mountainous region, 160 miles north of Lisbon, is prone to summer blazes. 2012 saw some of Portugal’s worst wildfires in recent history as the country underwent its most severe drought in 70 years.