A firefighter crashed into a forest fire in the village of Casal da Quunta, just outside Lria in central Portugal. Photo / AP
Extreme wildfires are raging in parts of Europe, with firefighters battling climate change in Portugal, Spain and southern France on Wednesday.
According to André Fernandez, Portugal’s chief of civil defense, more than 600 people were killed in the blaze. About 120 people need treatment, and two people – one civilian and one firefighter – were seriously injured, Fernandez said.
Firefighters 1,300 firefighters assisted in the fire in the central part of the country, while another 1,000 worked to control other fires.
In Spain and France – and on the other side of the Mediterranean, European heat in Turkey is igniting the fire.
More than 800 firefighters have battled two wildfires in the region outside of Bordeaux in southwestern France, the regional emergency service said. The blaze broke out on Tuesday near the towns of Landras and La Testi-de-Buch, and firefighters were unable to control it until Wednesday morning.
About 6,500 people have been displaced from camps and villages in the jungle. The extent of the damage is unclear. More than 1,800 hectares of land were destroyed in the two fires, according to the emergency services.
Firefighters Images As the fire circulated between trees and meadows, it was blown away by strong winds and blackened the horizon.
The regional administration has banned activities in forested areas. Many regions in southern France are on fire due to hot, dry weather and high winds. A wildfire broke out in the Gardens region of southeastern France last week.
Portugal has long suffered from deadly forest fires. In 2017, wildfires killed more than 100 people. Portugal has improved forest management and firefighting strategies and no one has died in wildfires since.
Last year, Portugal recorded the lowest wildfires since 2011. However, high winds and dry winds in Africa are pushing the Iberian Peninsula to higher temperatures than usual.
The Atlantic nation, which has been on fire since last week, is sending temperatures of 46 degrees Fahrenheit (40 ° C) on Wednesday and Thursday in the central Alenthe region. Officials say 96 percent of the country was hit by a “severe” or “severe” drought in late June.
In the Lilia district, north of Lisbon, more than 3,000 ha were eaten alone, Mayor Gonkalo Lops told Portuguese state broadcasting artpi.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, has said that the cancellation of his trip abroad to deal with emergencies is the key to protecting them.
“In 2017, the country realized that it was important to have enough firefighters, but not enough,” Costa said. “We need to know the source of the problem: Property abandonment and mismanagement are one of the biggest threats to forest fires.”
Neighboring Spain was hit by 43 degrees Celsius on Tuesday in several southern cities.
More than 400 people were displaced by a wildfire that engulfed 3,500 acres[3,500 ha]in western Spain on Tuesday.
EU officials warned last week that climate change was behind the continent’s dryest and hottest summer, urging local officials to support wildfires.
According to Caitano Torres, spokesman for Spain’s National Weather Service, “unusual” heat waves and lack of rain in recent months have created a favorable environment for fires.
“These are ideal conditions for a fire to spread, which, when you add a little wind, guarantee you to multiply,” he said.
A fire broke out in the village of Datka Musudiye near the Aegean Sea Resort in southwestern Turkey, according to the provincial administration. He said at least nine helicopters and five helicopters were deployed to fight the blaze.
Last summer, fires broke out in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions of Turkey. The wildfire, which killed at least eight people and countless animals, is said to be the worst in Turkish history.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been criticized for its poor response and readiness to fight large-scale wildfires, including a shortage of modern firefighting aircraft.
Joseph Wilson reports from Barcelona, Spain. Contributed by Angela Charlton of Paris, Renata Brito of Barcelona, and Susan Fraser of Istanbul.