Emergency services battle Portuguese wildfire near border with Spain

By Joe Gerrard Monday, 06 August 2018 12:23 0
FIREFIGHTING: The fires were visible from Mochique town FIREFIGHTING: The fires were visible from Mochique town Sam Tiley, via Twitter

HUNDREDS of firefighters have been deployed in the Algarve to tackle a wildfire which has spread towards the Spanish border.

At least 740 firefighters, 12 aircraft and 122 vehicles have been deployed to the Sierra de Monchique to tackle the blaze which broke out last Friday.

Spain has sent two large aircraft to help Portuguese emergency services fight the fire and some unconfirmed reports today (Monday) place personnel numbers at more than 1,000.

It has since spread near to the towns of Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio, both of which lie near Portugal’s border with Spain’s Huelva Province.

A total of 120 people in the Faro area had to be evacuated on Saturday following the outbreak of the fire the day before.

They reportedly had to leave their homes and belongings behind and several firefighters there received medical attention for exposure to heat and smoke.

Firefighters tackling the blaze in the Portimao area of the Algarve have reportedly been working double shifts in an effort to control the fire.

Personnel requested that people in the area bring them water, energy bars and energy drinks in order to avoid fatigue and exhaustion.

Several post on social media from locals and holidaymakers showed the flames spreading through woodland and hills near to their towns.

The blaze follows two major wildfires, one on the Portuguese mainland last year and another on the island of Madeira in 2016. Those blazes claimed the lives of almost 220 people in total.

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