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Portugal Wildfires

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  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    4 firefighters killed

    Four Portuguese firefighters die in forest blaze
    LISBON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A rare winter forest fire killed
    four Portuguese firefighters on Monday, authorities said.
    The four from the Coimbra fire brigade were among a group of
    five battling a blaze in mountains near Mortagua, about 210 km
    (130 miles) northeast of Lisbon, Coimbra Mayor Carlos Encarnacao
    told private TSF radio.
    "There was a shift in the wind and they were overwhelmed by
    flames. One was able to get away, but four were caught in the
    fire," Encarnacao said.
    About 90 firefighters were fighting the blaze, backed by one
    helicopter and 22 vehicles, the Lusa news agency said.
    Portugal is suffering one of its worst droughts in 100 years
    and the fire broke out on Monday during what is usually the
    Iberian nation's rainy season.

    Reut12:37 02-28-05

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  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    July 29th

    Forest fires still blaze in Portugal, Spain
    By JOANA MATEUS
    Associated Press Writer
    LISBON, Portugal (AP)- Firefighters were struggling to control
    raging forest fires in Portugal on Thursday, while blazes across
    the border in southern Spain were some of the worst seen in a
    decade.
    At least 14,000 hectares (34,594 acres) have burned to a crisp
    in parts of the southern region of Andalusia since fires broke out
    there two days ago.
    "It has been the largest fire for the last 10 years in
    Andalusia," said Ana Fernandez from Plan Infoca, the region's task
    force against forest fires.
    In Portugal, fires started Sunday in numbers and intensity that
    recalled last summer when five percent of the country was smoking
    before rains arrived in late August.
    In the Algarve tourist and beach region along the Atlantic Ocean
    west of the Gibraltar strait, several blazes joined to form a wall
    of flames about 70 kilometers (44 miles) wide.
    Hundreds of firefighters from both countries worked
    round-the-clock to control the blazes, battled from the sky, too,
    by planes dropping tons of water and fire suppressants.
    Hundreds of hectares (thousands of acres) of eucalyptus and cork
    tree forests and several houses were destroyed in Portugal, and
    several hundred people evacuated from their homes.
    More than 33,000 hectares (81,500 acres) of forest and
    agricultural land has been lost to fires between January and July,
    the government said in a statement.
    On Wednesday the mayor of Almodovar, Antonio Sebastiao, told the
    state news agency Lusa he was going to request that the area be
    considered a disaster zone.
    Last year, fires in Portugal destroyed 424,000 hectares (1
    million acres), killed 18 people and damaged 2,500 buildings.
    In Spain, some 400 firefighters worked through the night while
    30 planes and helicopters tried to extinguish the flames, a
    spokeswoman from the Seville city government said Thursday.
    About 355 people were evacuated from their homes from Seville
    area, mostly from the town of Madrono.
    In the neighboring region of Huelva, close to 1,000 people were
    evacuated to other towns, a spokesman for Huelva city government
    said, and about 125 received medical treatment for smoke
    inhalation.
    The forest fires killed two people in Huelva on Tuesday.
    Temperatures remained high at close to 40 degrees Celsius (104
    Fahrenheit) which is common for Spain during the summer months.
    "Weather-wise we are most likely to have problems related to
    forest fires throughout the whole summer," said Rosa Prades, a
    spokeswoman from the Madrid city government.
    ---
    Associated Press reporter Seung Hwa Hong in Madrid contributed
    to this report.

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    July 27th

    CALDAS DO MONCHIQUE, Portugal (AP)- Columns of smoke drifted
    over the skies of the Algarve beach and tourist area of southern
    Portugal, and the chopping sound of helicopters provided the
    soundtrack Tuesday to a third day of raging wildfires.
    Spain and Italy joined Greece in sending planes to help douse
    the flames, Home Affairs Minister Daniel Sanches said.
    Eighty people had to be evacuated from the Monchique spa complex
    in the southern Algarve after a blaze thought to be under control
    erupted again.
    The Agriculture Ministry said the Monchique fire destroyed two
    houses and 800 hectares (2,000 acres) of eucalyptus and cork tree
    forest.
    Despite the damage, only one woman and two firefighters have so
    far been injured. All were treated for burns.
    Firefighters have curtailed the blazes only to see them rekindle
    when winds pick up.
    "Last night the fire arrived and everything burned. The
    firefighters were able to save my house, but all our land outside
    is charred and black," said Maria Amelia Varela da Silva, 60, who
    lives about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the Monchique mountain
    area where the conflagration is strongest.
    Flames soared skyward to a height of a four-story building
    Tuesday morning, said a 62-year-old neighbor, who stayed in her car
    ready to leave in case the fire came too close.
    Temperatures passed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) when the
    largest fire cut the A22 Via do Infante highway near Tavira.
    Sanches said there were four times as many fires in Portugal
    this July compared to last year. Eight large fires were burning
    after firefighters struggled to contain more than 20 outbreaks a
    day earlier.
    Spain was expected to send a Canadair water-dropping plane to
    the southern Algarve areas of Alcoutim and Castro Marim, where the
    fire has already consumed 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) of forest
    and agricultural land, the Agriculture Ministry said.
    There was no word on the destination of the Italian aircraft.
    Responding to Portugal's request for help Monday, Greece sent
    two planes to the Beja air base in the southern Alentejo region.
    Portugal's air force deployed a Cessna airplane while the army
    planned to double to 500 the number of soldiers assigned to help
    extinguish the fires.
    A massive fire in the Arrabida Natural Park, 50 kilometers (30
    miles) south of Lisbon, was mostly under control Tuesday.
    But Portugal's League for Nature Protection described the
    devastation at the park, where 700 hectares (1,700 acres) of land
    have been scorched, as "an irreparable loss for biodiversity and
    nature."
    Another large fire, in the Santarem area of Torres Novas, about
    100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Lisbon, destroyed close to 1,200
    hectares (3,000 acres) of agricultural land, mainly olive groves,
    and 170 hectares (420 acres) of forest in the Serra d'Aires Natural
    Park.
    Weather forecasts projected temperatures will top 38 degrees
    Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) through Thursday.
    In 2003, fires in Portugal claimed 18 lives and destroyed a
    record 424,000 hectares (1,047,727 acres) of forest and bush, about
    five percent of the country's surface terrain.

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    APTV 07-27-04 1235EDT

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  • budthespud
    replied
    Marseilles, France, evacuated 2000 people yesterday.

    In '03, two dozen people died in Portugal's wildfires.

    There is hope wildfires in Greece won't spoil the Olympics
    experience, but there have been wildfires and one person
    was recently killed in Athens as a result.

    Greece is well-equipped and hopefully better-organized than
    they were in '98, the last el Nino year, when 5 foreign
    nations needed to help them, including with airplanes.

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    July 26th 2004

    LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Portugal said Monday it was seeking help
    from other European countries fighting wildfires that have
    destroyed thousands of hectares (acres) of forest and wildlife
    areas.
    Blazes were burning in 14 of 18 districts across the Iberian
    nation, where temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees
    Fahrenheit) and strong dry winds have fueled flames.
    Greece is contributing two firefighting planes Tuesday in
    response to a request for help made to the European Union, said
    Paiva Monteiro, head of the Civil Protection and National
    Firefighters Service.
    The service said the fire count across the country was four
    times the number a year ago. They included a massive weekend blaze
    in a nature reserve south of Lisbon that firefighters succeeded in
    extinguishing momentarily Monday morning.
    The fire at the Arrabida Natural Park, 50 kilometers (30 miles)
    south of Lisbon, destroyed over 900 hectares (2,225 acres) of
    wilderness on Sunday, raising concerns about the impact on
    protected wildlife including wildcats and mongooses.
    In a statement issued Monday, the League for Nature Protection
    said the devastation at the park was "an irreparable loss for
    biodiversity and nature." The Green Party called the damage
    "incalcuable."
    Several beaches in the area had to be evacuated Sunday and
    remained closed to the public.
    Elsewhere in Portugal on Monday, firefighters had brought
    another large fire under control in the southern Algarve region of
    Monchique. Six houses were razed, but no injuries were reported.
    Some 1,400 people were involved in fighting eight other fires
    still burning in the districts of Castelo Branco, Mafra, Santarem
    and Vila Real, north of Lisbon, and in southern Faro and Monchique.
    In 2003, fires in Portugal claimed 18 lives and destroyed a
    record number of 336,000 hectares (820,000 acres) of forest and
    bush.
    Weather forecasts call for temperatures to remain high at least
    until Thursday.

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    started a topic Portugal Wildfires

    Portugal Wildfires

    LISBON, June 19 (Reuters) - A forest fire raced through a
    Portuguese village on Thursday sending five people to hospital
    as the Iberian nation baked under temperatures expected to top
    40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
    Strong easterly winds helped the blaze sweep through part of
    Recarei, a village about 300 km (200 miles) north of Lisbon in
    the Serra de Pias mountains. Two houses were destroyed.
    "This was a really fast thing. In five minutes it went from
    the top of the mountain to the houses," a Recarei resident told
    private SIC television.
    Five people were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation, a
    spokesman for the National Fire-fighting Coordination Centre
    said. Almost 150 firefighters were battling the blaze, one of a
    rash of fires that have broken out in the heat wave.
    Much of Portugal was baking under a mass of hot air
    propelled by easterly winds from Spain, the national weather
    service said. It forecast temperatures of 41 C (105.8 F) in
    Lisbon on Thursday, close to a 22-year high of 43 C (109.4 F).
    The heat combined with the Corpus Christi holiday to send
    hundreds of thousands of people to Atlantic beaches. Highways
    were jammed with cars under the blazing sun.

    Reut10:26 06-19-03

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