Firefighter killed as Portugal wrestles with forest fires

Firefighter killed as Portugal wrestles with forest fires

23 August 2013

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Portugal — A fire four times the size of Lisbon is ravaging wooded hillsides in Tondela, Portugal, and has claimed the life of a female firefighter. Nine others have been injured.

Three have died this month, and several others are in a critical condition. France and Spain have sent planes to help douse the blaze, which is active on three fronts and has been out of control for 48 hours.

Locals say undergrowth that should have been cleared has been allowed to grow increasing the risk, and fighting the fires is made more difficult by the lack of access roads in the remote area.

High temperatures have settled on Portugal, and in some areas strong winds are feeding the flames. In all over 1000 firefighters and 230 vehicles are currently fighting 13 large fires in the north and centre of the country.

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