Europe: Fourth firefighter killed as wildfires rage in Spain and Portugal – 270813 1955z

 

Fourth firefighter killed as wildfires rage in Spain and Portugal

The fires have consumed large parts of forests in the two countries.

Firefighters carry fire hoses as they work to extinguish a forest fire outskirts of Cebreros, Spain, Sunday 4 August
Image: Andres Kudacki/AP/Press Association Images via http://www.thejournal.ie/

“FIREFIGHTERS AND LOCAL residents struggled today to tackle raging wildfires that have consumed large swathes of forest in Portugal and Spain and cost the lives of four emergency workers.

Firefighter death

A volunteer firefighter who tackled the same blaze as a female colleague killed last week in the mountains of central Portugal has died from his injuries, his commander Carlos Coelho said.

The 23-year-old’s death brings the number of emergency responders killed in Portugal’s August fires to four.

More than 800 firefighters were mobilised in Portugal to tackle the blazes, which have intensified overnight due to high winds.

A spokesman for Portugal’s emergencies agency repeated his call for France to remain in the country after two French planes were dispatched to drop water on affected regions this week.

“The French mission is supposed to be completed Thursday, but we asked for an extension. We are waiting for a response,” said Miguel Cruz, spokesman for the Civil Protection Authority.

Two Spanish planes had also helped Portuguese authorities take on the fires but returned home at the weekend.

‘Difficult situation’

Cruz said Portugal would not ask neighbouring Spain for more help because of their own “difficult situation”, as firefighters and water-dumping planes battled a large wildfire in Spain’s northwest that drove residents from their homes, according to officials.

The blaze, one of hundreds to ravage Spain’s parched land over the summer, broke out late yesterday near Oia, a village on the Atlantic coast near the border with Portugal.

Firefighters backed by aeroplanes and helicopters were battling to curb flames that ravaged 1,200 hectares as they spread, the regional government said in a statement.

An alert was declared after the fire came close to some houses and residents were evacuated, an official in the Galicia region rural affairs ministry told AFP, but no one was reported hurt.

“The situation has improved since last night,” the official said. “We are not aware of the fire reaching any houses, although there were some evacuations.”

Spanish newspapers said the number of evacuations was at least 176.

The ministry said firefighters had controlled four other fires in the region in recent days, which burned thousands of hectares between them.

The central government said it had sent firefighting planes and personnel to the Oia fire and two others, in the Asturias region and the Tarragona area west of Barcelona.

Other Reports

 

Wildfires ravage Portugal and Spain

SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA Updated: 21:48, Tuesday August 27, 2013

“Around 1000 firefighters are trying to put out 11 major wildfires in Portugal amid continuing hot weather and strong night-time winds.

The National Civil Protection Authority said on Tuesday the biggest blaze was near Viseu, about 200 kilometres north of the capital Lisbon.

It said four water-dropping aircraft were helping more than 360 firefighters working in thick woodland and ravines there.

Temperatures above 30C were forecast for northern areas where wildfires have caused the most damage, but winds were expected to drop.

Officials said a 23-year-old firefighter died on Monday night from severe burns he sustained in a wildfire last week. That blaze killed another firefighter at the scene.

Forest blazes have caused the death of four Portuguese firefighters this northern summer.

In Spain, firefighters and water-dumping planes were battling a large wildfire in the northwest that has driven local residents from their homes.

The blaze, one of hundreds to ravage Spain’s parched land over the northern summer, broke out late on Monday near Oia, a village on the Atlantic coast near the border with Portugal.

Firefighters backed by aeroplanes and helicopters were battling to curb the flames which have ravaged 1000 hectares as they spread, the regional government said in a statement on Tuesday.

An alert was declared after the fire came close to some houses and residents were evacuated, an official in the Galicia region rural affairs ministry told AFP, but no one was reported hurt.

‘The situation has improved since last night,’ the official said. ‘We are not aware of the fire reaching any houses, although there were some evacuations.’

The ministry said firefighters had controlled four other fires in the region in recent days, which burned thousands of hectares between them.” – skynews.com.au

Weather warnings: Spain

 

Weather warnings: Portugal

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