Firefighters battle wildfires in Portugal, Spain

2016-09-07 23:15

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Lisbon - Thousands of fire-fighters in Spain and Portugal were on Wednesday battling blazes that threatened locals and tourists, as authorities hoped that the arrival of cooler weather would help tame the flames.

In Portugal, more than 2 000 fire-fighters backed by water-dropping aircraft were at the scene of about 50 fires on Wednesday morning, down from the 3 800 deployed at 100 fires the previous night, the country's civil protection agency said.

Carlos Guerra, an official with agency, on Wednesday said most fires were under control even if not fully extinguished.

The mercury has topped 40ºC in recent days but the national weather office forecast maximum temperatures would drop by between 4 and 8ºC on Wednesday.

Still, over a third of the country faced a "very high" or "maximum" risk of wildfires on Wednesday.

Nearly 300 fire-fighters were fighting one of the largest fires, near the northern town of Boticas.

Local officials evacuated children and the elderly from a nearby hamlet overnight.

"Two other localities are still threatened by the flames," said the mayor of Boticas, Fernando Queiroga, complaining that there were not enough fire-fighters available.

Read more on:    spain  |  portugal  |  wildfires

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