Deadly forest fires in Portugal

Deadly forest fires in Portugal

Mon, 19/06/2017 - 12:00
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Sixty-two people have died and more than 54 injured in one of Portugal’s deadliest forest fires. Many of those who lost their life were trapped in cars as they tried to flee the central forested region of Pedrógão Grande, and it is feared the death toll may rise further.

It is thought that the blaze, which is raging in several parts of a mountainous area 200km northeast of Lisbon, may have been sparked by a lightning strike hitting a tree during a rainless thunderstorm on the night of 17th-18th June 2017, following an intense heatwave which saw temperatures exceeding 40degC.

Several villages and communities were destroyed as 1,700 firefighters fought more than 156 fires that erupted across the country. Prime Minister Antonio Costa declared three-days of national mourning.