January 28, 2023


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Portugal.  The fire was put out in Serra da Estrela.  17,000 hectares burned, firefighters injured

Portugal. The fire was put out in Serra da Estrela. 17,000 hectares burned, firefighters injured

Portuguese firefighters have put out a week-long fire in the eastern Serra da Estrela mountain range, it was reported Saturday. Seven firefighters were injured during the firefighting operation, three of them in serious condition. Police do not rule out arson.

The investigation shows that the fire broke out on Saturday 6 August in the village of Garucho near the city of Kovila. The provinces of Castelo Branco and Guarda were affected by the fire. As announced by Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, a special commission should be formed in the near future to determine the causes of the tragedy in the mountain range bordering Portugal’s eastern border with Spain.

According to Portuguese police sources, quoted by the weekly “Expresso”, “investigators suspect that a criminal hand” was behind the largest fire in 2022. It was put out on Saturday afternoon.

According to Copernicus satellite system estimates, over 17,000 hectares of forest and wasteland were burned in the fire.

Seven firefighters were injured and homes destroyed

Seven firefighters were injured in the fire. Five of them were wounded Thursday night in the vicinity of the city of Guarda. The tragic accident occurred as a result of an accident with a fire truck. Medical services estimate the condition of three seriously injured people.

On Thursday evening, a fire in the Guarda district forced several hundred people to evacuate their homes after a fire approached residential buildings. 20 houses burned.

Fire in Serra da Estrela, PortugalReuters

Preliminary analysis by the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF) shows that the fire in Serra da Estrela may have contributed to a sharp decline in the number of individuals threatened with extinction of reptile and insect species.

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About 2,000 fires have broken out in Portugal since the beginning of July. They consumed more than 60 thousand. Forest and agricultural areas.

Main image source: Reuters