Firefighters battle multiple blazes as wildfires ravage Portugal [Photos]
Firefighters in Portugal are battling multiple blazes fed by brush in a hot, dry summer for a sixth straight day.
A firefighting airplane flies above a forest fire near Mortagua, northern Portugal on Thursday. Firefighters in Portugal are battling multiple blazes fed by brush in a hot, dry summer for a sixth straight day. A full 186 wildfires were counted Wednesday on Portugal's mainland. The fires, which are also ravaging southern France, have killed at least four people, burning scores of homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands, including tourists. AP
Portugal's National Civil Protection Service reported 14 major wildfires burning out of control in mainland Portugal where almost 4,500 firefighters were in action in a massive operation, supported by 28 water-dumping aircraft and 1,300 vehicles. Desperate, the government requested help from other European Union countries. AP
A woman uses a tree branch to fight a fire on the road leading to the village of Parada, near Mortagua. The Madeira fire forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 residents and tourists in the islands. Residents described chaotic nighttime scenes, with people fleeing the flames by car at high speed on the wrong side of the road. AP
Jos' Cerveira, 71 years old, waters a burnt forest area to prevent it from reigniting, outside the village of S'o Rom'o, near Mealhada. Miguel Albuquerque, head of Madeira's regional government, told reporters the three local victims died in their burned homes early Wednesday as the wildfire hit the coastal city in the dark. He said two other people were seriously hurt and one person went missing. At least 37 houses and a five-star hotel had burned down. AP
The Madeira blaze broke out Monday and firefighters said the island's steep hills and dense woodland made it hard to reach the flames. Albuquerque, the regional government chief, said officials suspect that fire was started deliberately and police have made two arrests. AP