Monday, October 16, 2017

Portugal's Pyres

The blog reported recently on the Californian forest fires and we would be amiss not to mention the fires raging in Portugal.

Late season wildfires that broke out over the weekend in Portugal have killed at least 35 people, including a one-month-old baby, making 2017 the deadliest year on record for forest blazes in the country. The Civil Protection Agency said the baby’s body was found near Tabua, 190km north of Lisbon. The parents’ bodies were reportedly found nearby. Agency spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar said the death toll could rise: “We are still searching burnt areas to see if there are any more victims.” She said climate change has brought an additional factor into the battle against woodland fires, meaning “large-scale catastrophes are now a reality all over the world”. 5,300 firefighters with over 1,600 vehicles are still battling the fires through dense pine and eucalyptus forests on Monday. 
The fires returned to Portugal four months after a summer blaze claimed 64 lives in one night. The year’s current total of 99 deaths is far higher than the previous annual record of 25, in 1966. 
In Spain, more wildfires killed at least four people and prompted the evacuation of thousands in the northwest region of Galicia, as the remnants of winds from Hurricane Ophelia fanned the flames along Iberia’s Atlantic coast.

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