A fire in the north of Portugal kills one

Fire in northern Portugal kills one

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A fire killed one person in the region of Aveiro, in the north of Portugal, we learned on Wednesday from the emergency services, strongly mobilized for several days in the center of the country in due to forest fires caused by scorching temperatures. 

“Firefighters found a charred victim in the middle of the burned area” in a fire that occurred overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in the municipality of Murtosa, Commander José Miranda, of the National Authority for civil protection, without further details.

According to the newspaper Correio da Manha, it was a woman in her fifties. The fire, which reportedly broke out in a cornfield, has since been brought under control.

However, it is the center of the country that was most affected by the forest fires that have hit Portugal since last Thursday and which flared up again on Tuesday afternoon, fanned by the heat and the force of the wind.

On Wednesday morning, four major outbreaks mobilized more than 1,500 firefighters in the municipalities of Leiria, Pombal and Ourém, located at the confluence of the districts of Leiria and Santarém, just over a hundred kilometers from Lisbon.< /p>

The day before, several villages had to be evacuated as well as some 300 people who were in the town of Freixianda, in the commune of Ourém.

Stopped until dawn, traffic had meanwhile resumed on several roads, including the A1 motorway which connects Lisbon to northern Portugal.

Since Thursday, the emergency services have identified around thirty minor injuries and at least a dozen damaged houses, according to a provisional assessment provided by civil protection.

In a country which remains traumatized by the deadly fires of 2017, which killed more than a hundred people, the government has decided to strengthen the mobilization of the emergency services and to increase their powers, by decreeing a “state of contingency” at least until Friday.

On Wednesday, the Portuguese meteorological institute placed 16 of the 18 districts of the mainland on red alert, i.e. the double than the day before.

Temperatures are expected to exceed 40°C in a good part of the country, and go up to 46°C in the region of Santarém.