World Portugal forest fire kills at least 19 -government

03:45  18 june  2017
03:45  18 june  2017 Source:   Reuters

Portugal fire rages as temperatures soar

  Portugal fire rages as temperatures soar Hot weather and windy conditions threaten to spread fires that have killed at least 64 people.The week's highest temperatures of around 38C (100F) are expected on Tuesday and together with windy conditions could reignite fires already quelled.

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At least four people have died and more than 1,000 were evacuated on the Portuguese island of Madeira when forest fires , raging for a third day, spread to the regional capital and tourist destination of Funchal. The Portuguese interior ministry said it had requested help from the European Union.

A forest fire in central Portugal killed at least 19 people on Saturday, most of them occupants of various vehicles that were on the road and caught in the blaze, an official said in televised remarks.

The fire, which has yet to be controlled, is already one of the deadliest forest fires in Portugal in decades.

Jorge Gomes, the secretary of state for internal affairs, said President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was en route to the site of the tragedy.

The blaze on Saturday hit the mountainous area of Pedrogao Grande, 200 km southeast of Lisbon, amid an intense heat wave and strong winds that fanned the fire later in the day.

"We have 19 confirmed deaths, all civilians," Gomes said, adding that 20 people have been injured, including six firefighters, and two people were still missing.

(Reporting by Andrei Khalip, editing by G Crosse)

Spain fights forest fire in Donana UNESCO nature reserve .
A forest fire in southern Spain forced the evacuation of 1,000 people and is threatening a national park famous for its biodiversity.The flames have advanced eastward and have entered Donana National Park, one of Spain's most important nature reserves and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994. The park, which has over 50,000 hectares (123,550 acres) of wetlands and woods, is an important stop for migratory birds from Africa and Europe and is home to a variety of animals, including the highly endangered Iberian lynx and the Iberian imperial eagle.

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