Firefighters are struggling to control a large forest fire which started on the afternoon of Saturday, June 17 in Pedrógão Grande, spreading across several fronts in the center of the country. Officials say that at least 43 have been killed, many trying to escape the fire, with the death toll expected to rise further. Around 600 firefighters are continuing to bring the fire under control.
There has been increased risk of wild fire in Portugal as a result of an ongoing heatwave and strong winds.
On Thursday, June 15, the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) issued warnings due to the high risk of wildfires. There is a “maximum” risk in parts of the regions Bragança (Alfandega da Fé, Mogadouro, Torre de Moncorvo, Freixo de Espada a Cinta) and Castelo Branco (Proença-a-nova, Vila Velha de Rodao, Vila de Rei), Santarem (Maçao, Abrantes), Portalegre (Nisa, Gaviao).
There is a “high” risk in parts of the Bragança region (Bragança, Vila Flor, Mirandela, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Vimioso, Carrazeda de Ansiases), Vila Real (Vila Real, Sabrosa, Alijo, Murça, Valpaços), Viseu (Tabuaço, Tarouca, Vila Nova de Paiva, Penedono, Sernancelhe), Guarda (Guarda, Sabugal, Pinhel, Celorico da Beira, Fornos de Algodres, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Trancoso, Meda, Vila Nova de Foz Coa, Gouveia, Manteigas, Seia), Castelo Branco (Fundão, Penamacor, Covilhã, Oleiros, Castelo Branco, Idanha-A-Nova, Serta), Coimbra (Arganil, Pampilhosa Da Serra, Gois, Penela), Santerarem (Ferreira do Zezere, Tomar, Vila Nova da Barquinha, Constancia, Sardoal), Leiria (Castanheira de Pera, Figueiro dos Vinhos, Alvaiazere), Portalegre (Marvao), Lisboa (Sobra de Monte Agraço), and Faro (Alcoutim, Castro Marim, Tavira, Sao Bras De Alportel, Loulé).
Individuals in Portugal are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to follow all instructions as issued by the local authorities (e.g. potential evacuation orders).