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Portugal Forest Fire Tragedy
Topic Started: Jun 18 2017, 08:45 AM (20 Views)
Brewster
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AP
 
Portugal Forest Fires: 62 Dead, PM Calls Disaster a ‘Tragedy’
Raging forest fires in central Portugal killed at least 62 people, many of them dying because they were trapped in their cars when flames swept over a road. Portugal declared three days of national mourning on Sunday as Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa called the disaster "the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years."

Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes told state broadcaster RTP that the number of victims from the flames and smoke inhalation has reached 60, while another two people perished in a traffic accident related to the fires. The fatalities occurred in the Pedrogao Grande area, about 95 miles northeast of Lisbon, where about 600 firefighters have been trying to put out the fires since Saturday, Gomes said. At least 16 people were killed when their vehicles were engulfed by flames on a road between the towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera.

A lightning strike is believed to have sparked the blaze after investigators found a tree that was hit during a "dry thunderstorm," the head of the national judicial police told Portuguese media.

Local resident Isabel Brandao told The Associated Press that she had feared for her life.
Quote:
 
Yesterday we saw the fire but thought it was very far. I never thought it would come to this side," she said. "At 3:30 a.m., my mother-in-law woke me up quickly and we never went to sleep again. We were afraid the fire would reach us.

Spanish state television showed terrifying images from Portugal of several people on a road trying to escape the intense smoke that had reduced visibility to a question of a few yards. Costa said that firefighting crews were having difficulties in approaching the area because the fire was "very intense." He added that Portuguese authorities were working on identifying the victims and that Spanish rescuers would assist in efforts to control the blazes.

Costa said that while investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the fire, authorities believe that the high temperatures of 104 F in recent days may have played a part.
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More and More... As the article says, that area is prone to fires, but not this intense... More and More...
Edited by Brewster, Jun 18 2017, 08:50 AM.
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