Forest fires devour hundreds of hectares in Portugal and Spain at high speed in a summer of extreme weather. Both countries come to exceed 40 degrees Celsius this week.
In the Odemira region of southwestern Portugal, nearly 1,000 firefighters are fighting a forest fire.
Some 7,000 hectares have burned so far, according to authorities’ estimates.
As a precautionary measure, more than 1,400 people had to be evacuated from several towns and a camp from Monday to Tuesday.
Portugal has recently been affected by high temperatures. In Santarém, about 80 kilometers northeast of Lisbon, the record for the highest temperature so far this year was broken on Monday: 46.4 degrees.
Spain is going through its third heat wave
For its part, Spain is experiencing its third heat wave and is also fighting several forest fires. One of the regions affected by the flames is Extremadura, where in the province of Cáceres, a fire has burned some 300 hectares.
“We have lodged the clients in a hotel in Alcántara and here we are worried and anguished, because we have a huge forest mass, some hundred-year-old cork oaks and we are very sorry,” Joaquín Diéguez, owner of a rural farmhouse in Valencia de Alcantara.
“We have cows and we are worried about them. We are trying to gather them in places where they do not burn to be calmer about the fire,” says Julián Rodríguez Carvallo, a resident of the municipality.
The Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) indicated that temperatures will continue to rise at least until Friday, with some areas of southern Andalusia reaching 44 degrees Celsius.