Thursday, April 11

Portugal faces its “most serious” day against fires

Portugal faces this Thursday its “most serious day” in its fight against the fires due to the increase in temperatures and the wind, the Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, has warned. The Government, which decreed last Monday the contingency status throughout the country to reinforce the mobilization of the rescue services, has announced that it will extend the measures until next Sunday due to the situation in which the fires and meteorological conditions that are coming

“Today is the most serious day for the rising temperaturesthe wind and the low humidity,” said Costa. “Today is the day we need the most care.” The state of contingency, decreed on Monday and initially in force until Friday, includes a ban on burning pyrotechnics, machinery and activity in forest areas and the reinforcement of firefighting equipment.

This heat wave that is hitting southern Europe has already taken its toll 10,000 hectares burned in Portugal and threatens to further fuel the dozen active fires that currently keep the Portuguese country in Red alert. The towns of Leiria (Pombal), Faro (Algarve), Peneda Geres Park and Pamela (Setúbal, near Lisbon) are the hardest hit.

The prime minister has indicated that, for the most part, the fires “arise very close to the towns.” “A little carelessness can end in a huge tragedy” He insisted after meeting with experts from the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere.

So far, there have been about 45 wounded, two of them seriously, and the police investigate the death of a woman in her 50s charred in a small rural fire in Aveiroin what appears to be an accident.

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They are not means, it is careful

While doubts are growing in Portugal about the means available to deal with the problem, the Portuguese socialist leader defended that “the answer is not more means, but more careful”. “That does not happen only in Portugal,” he stressed. “Resources are not limited in Portugal, they are limited.”

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Costa explained that Portugal has activated the EU support mechanism and it has received two planes from Italy to reinforce the fight against the fire, while the two aircraft that Spain had sent on Sunday have returned due to the emergency that the neighboring country is experiencing.

More than 3,000 troops are fighting today the fires that dot the interior of Portugal from north to south – with special incidence in the Leiria region (center) – and that have left 10,000 hectares devastated.

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