WILDFIRES continue to burn across swathes of northern Spain and Portugal with the vast majority in Galicia believed to have been started deliberately.
Between Friday and Sunday afternoon there were 146 fires reported (see map below) with 28 in the early hours of the mornings when fire-fighting helicopters cannot be used.
At least three people have died in Spain and a similar number in Portugal.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes.
The president of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, tweeted “My commiserations and pain to the victims. My abhorrence to the fire starters. Galicia supports the [firefighting] teams; they not only put out fires, but they save lives.”
He condemned what he described as the “murderous” acts of “fire starters”, pleading with those responsible for “a minimum of sensitivity and responsibility”.
He later told reporters, “They are absolutely intentional fires, meditated, caused by people who know what they are doing.”Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who is from Galicia, also tweeted his condolences for the dead.
Mi pésame por los fallecidos en los incendios en Galicia. Gracias a todos los que trabajan en su extinción y en atender a la población. MR
— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) October 15, 2017
The Ministry of Defence has deployed a total of 600 soldiers from the UME brigade to join the 350 firefighters, 220 pumps and air assets.
Más de 600 efectivos de la UME están desplegados en Galicia y Asturias para colaborar en la extinción de incendios.
Mucho ánimo compañeros! pic.twitter.com/R09SRUsamc
— Ministerio Defensa (@Defensagob) October 15, 2017
— Ángela Rodríguez (@Pam_Angela_) October 15, 2017
— PEPE ROMERO (@PEPEROES1972) October 15, 2017
— maria rey (@maria_rey) October 15, 2017
— 6W (@6W_es) October 15, 2017
— Euprepio Padula (@_Euprepio_P_) October 15, 2017
— Diario16 (@Diario_16) October 15, 2017
— Ricardo PortabalesJr (@Portabales_Hijo) October 15, 2017
— albA PaZos (@Albisssima) October 15, 2017