Twenty injured as 1,800 firefighters battle fires in Portugal with residents forced to flee homes

Mail Online | 7/21/2019 | James Gant For Mailonline;Wires;Ap
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About 1,800 firefighters were struggling to contain wildfires in central Portugal that have already injured 20 people, including eight firefighters, authorities said today.

The fires broke out on Saturday across three fronts in the district of Castelo Branco, 125 miles northeast of Lisbon, Portugal's Civil Protection Agency said.

Firefighters - Firefighting - Aircraft - Hundreds - Vehicles

Firefighters were being supported by 19 firefighting aircraft and hundreds of vehicles.

It is the first major bout of wildfires in Portugal this year.

Statement - Sunday - Afternoon - Police - Man

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, police said a 55-year-old man was detained on suspicion of starting a blaze in the district of Castelo Branco, where the wildfires started before spreading to nearby Santarem.

'The suspect's actions put people's lives, houses and the forest at risk,' the police said, without explicitly saying the arrested man was responsible for the ongoing wildfire.

Internal - Administration - Minister - Eduardo - Cabrita

Internal administration minister Eduardo Cabrita said police had opened an investigation into the fires, adding that local authorities considered it unusual that all the blazes had started in a narrow time frame between 2.30pm and 3.30pm local time on Saturday in the same area.

Strong winds and high temperatures were making it harder for firefighters to put out the remaining wildfire, although they have been able to control 85 per cent of the flames in Vila de Rei, a municipality in Castelo Branco.

Afternoon - Work - Belo - Costa - Civil

'(It will be) an afternoon of intense work,' Belo Costa, a Civil Protection official, told reporters.

Castelo Branco remains under a yellow risk alert with temperatures expected to reach 88F (31C) on Sunday, according to the national meteorological...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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