AP News, News, Wildland Firefighting

Major Wildfire in Portugal Almost Under Control

Firefighter in Portugal wildfire
A firefighter is silhouetted against a fire burning outside the village of Roqueiro, near Oleiros, Portugal, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. Almost 1,000 firefighters are battling a major wildfire in central Portugal. Officials said that strong winds were pushing the flames through dense and hilly woodland, much of it hard to reach. (AP Photo/Sergio Azenha)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese authorities said Tuesday they are close to bringing under control a major wildfire, with just a handful of hot spots being targeted by water-dropping aircraft.

Just over 1,000 fighters, more than 330 vehicles and eight aircraft were attending the blaze in thick woodland in central Portugal, some 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Lisbon.

1,000 Firefighters, 15 Aircraft Battle Wildfire in Portugal

Civil Protection Agency commander Luis Belo Costa said conditions were “very favorable.”

He told a news conference that around 90% of the fire’s perimeter, stretching some 60 kilometers (37 miles), is under control.

Five firefighters suffered burns in the fire’s initial stages Sunday as their vehicle was caught in the flames.

Large wildfires break out each year in Portugal, with poor forest management blamed for repeated outbreaks. Two major blazes killed 106 people in 2017.

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