by Staff Writers
Abrantes, Portugal (AFP) Aug 11, 2017
Portugal was battling a new rash of forest fires Friday ahead of a weekend of warm temperatures, as authorities warned of further blazes.
Some 1,800 firefighters backed by hundreds of vehicles were trying to douse around 10 fires across the country, authorities said.
"Despite the relentless fires, the situation is now more stable," said civil protection agency spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar in Lisbon.
Emergency workers had nearly gained control of wildfires across Portugal's drought-hit central region on Thursday, but stronger winds fanned flames in several areas.
In the village of Bracal, flames were being blown towards houses as residents grabbed what they could to aid firefighters, an AFP journalist said.
Some residents voiced anger at authorities after a season of repeated wildfires which have stretched resources.
"Firefighters can't perform miracles, they are exhausted," said Lucia Ricardo, who lives in Bracal, close to the central town of Abrantes.
Six villages had been evacuated around Abrantes on Thursday as fire-dousing planes flew sorties over the flames.
Another blaze near Grandola, in the southern Setubal district, needed 200 firefighters to bring under control after burning through around 3,000 hectares (30 square kilometres) of forest.
The fires come after more than 60 people were killed in June, and more than 200 injured, in a giant blaze at Pedrogao Grande in central Portugal that raged for five days.
After an uncommonly dry winter and spring, almost 79 percent of the Portuguese mainland was enduring extreme or severe drought at the end of July, according to the national weather office.
Dry conditions have also fuelled fires on France's Mediterranean coast and on the island of Corsica in recent weeks.
Tunis (AFP) Aug 5, 2017
Around 2,000 hectares of forest in Tunisia have gone up in flames over the past week, with some of the fires probably started deliberately, the authorities said on Saturday. Many of the blazes have been put down to a heatwave gripping the North African country, but arson has also been blamed in some cases. "Since July 29 we have experienced a wave of forest fires - 94 outbreaks across e ... read more
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology
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