Portugal has been struggling recently with some serious wildfires. The forest fires that started off in the center of the country have made more than 50 victims until now, as well as injuring more than 60 others. The people who have died were trapped in their own cars as the flames were sweeping over a road. Antonio Costa, Portugal’s Prime Minister, declared on Sunday that this represents the biggest tragedy the country has seen in years.
A True Disaster
The public broadcaster RTP reported that among the injured people there were 4 firefighters and 1 minor. The fires took place in the Pedrogao Grande area, which is 95 miles N-E of Lisbon. Jorge Gomes, who is the Interior Ministry official, declared that there were at least 16 people killed on the road while they were trying to escape the flames between Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera. Another three people died because they inhaled smoke in Figueiro dos Vinhos. However, there is no information available on the cause of the death for the others.
Locals Are Terrified
Isabel Brandao, who lives in the area, declared for the Associated Press that she was scared to death by the fires. According to her, the residents have spotted the fire since yesterday, but they imagined it was very far. Moreover, they did not expect it to arrive on this side. She told the reporters that she was woken up by her mother-in-law and didn’t go to sleep ever since then. Both of them were scared of the fire and the possibility of it reaching them.
Firefighters truly have an impossible mission to accomplish. The smoke reduced visibility everywhere and the temperatures around the flames are extremely hot. Spanish rescuers were sent in to help control the flames. Most likely, the flames were started by the high temperatures that were recorded these days.