Portugal wildfire declared under control | News | DW | 23.07.2019
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Portugal wildfire declared under control

Firefighters have expressed optimism as they battle against the inferno that has been raging in central Portugal since the weekend. Nearly 40 people have been injured in the blazes.

Thanks to some overnight rain, raging wildfires were brought under control on Tuesday in central Portugal.

"The fire has been controlled. It is normal that during the afternoon it could become reactivated in some places but that is part of the process," said Luis Belo Costa, commander of the civil protection agency.

Light showers during the night raised humidity levels, assisting firefighters in the fight against the wildfires that have left a trail of destruction in their wake.

More than 1,000 firefighters have been deployed since the blazes began on Saturday. Optimism on Monday morning that they were under control soon disappeared as winds picked up and allowed the fire to spread.

Wildfire in Cardigos, Portugal

The aftermath of the fires seen here in Cardigos, 175 kilometers (109 miles) to the north of Lisbon

Winds are forecast to pick up again on Tuesday but "they won't be as aggressive as yesterday," Costa said.

Thirty-nine people, including a number of firefighters, have been wounded, with most suffering from smoke inhalation, according to emergency service INEM.

The wildfires, which authorities believe were started intentionally, have brought back memories of Portugal's deadliest outbreak in 2017, when 114 people lost their lives in two separate blazes.

jsi/amp (Reuters, AFP)

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