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Portugal weather warning – fire hazards severe

Portugal weather warning – fire hazards severe

Temperatures are expected to rise to 38 degrees over the next few days, while winds are blowing hard, according to reports BBC.

Anyone living in sparsely populated areas is being warned not to start any kind of fire, and the government has banned the use of machinery to avoid sparks. People’s access to forests has also been restricted.

The warning went into effect at midnight on Sunday and continues through Tuesday. The government estimates that about 92,000 hectares have already been burned this year due to drought and extreme temperatures.

Over the weekend, wildfires were brought under control in Ourem and Leiria, north of the capital, Lisbon.

Authorities in the neighboring region of Valencia, Spain, said the wildfires in the Baiges region are under control after they lasted for a week. The fire forced a train to stop on Tuesday, injuring a number of passengers when they fled the train.

About 20 aircraft participated in the firefighting operations, Sunday, which is half compared to previous days. Thus evacuees from the area can return home, but are urged to act with caution, as the risk of further fires is far from over.

Spain has been affected more than any other country in Europe by fires this year, according to the European Union’s environmental monitoring programme, Copernicus. Nearly 285,000 hectares have burned – four times the yearly average since measurements began in 2006.