A Major Wildfire Is Raging in Portugal — This Is What Travelers Should Know
It’s been a hot summer in Europe. Just last month, France set its all-time high temperature, while several countries reported the hottest June on record — and now, it seems, the heat wave is back.
Today, as temperatures surpassed 100 degrees in parts of Portugal, a major wildfire blazed northeast of Lisbon. The fire, which is being battled by more than 1,000 firefighters has been raging for three days, injuring 31 people, including some firefighters.
The fire area is in Portugal’s Castelo Branco district, which is located around 125 miles northeast of Lisbon. As of this morning, about 90 percent of the fire had been brought under control overnight, according to reporting by the Associated Press who spoke with local Civil Protection Agency commander Pedro Nunes. However, authorities warned that the forests are dry and that the week’s forecasted heat and wind may only make things worse.
To maintain control, the Portuguese Civil Protection Agency told the Associated Press that 318 vehicles and 14 water-dumping aircrafts have been deployed. Summer wildfires in Portugal have become a regular occurrence with the average annual area charred by wildfires between 2010 and 2016 totalling just over 247,000 acres, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Independent reports that police have arrested a 55-year-old man who is suspected of starting the blaze.
Travelers to Portugal should avoid the Castelo Branco district and stay cool by drinking plenty of water, wearing light clothing, and avoiding strenuous activities when the daily temperatures peak. According to AccuWeather’s current projection, temperatures will dip slightly on Tuesday and continue to decline through the work week before jumping again over the weekend.