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Friday 18 October 2019

Firefighters battle wildfire in national park west of Lisbon

A total of 47 people have been evacuated after the blaze broke out overnight.

A firefighting plane drops its load (AP)
A firefighting plane drops its load (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

More than 700 firefighters are battling a forest fire about 25 miles west of Lisbon.

Portugal’s civil protection agency said the blaze that started overnight in a national park has forced the evacuation of 47 people and left eight firefighters and one civilian injured.

Firefighters on the ground are being supported by 225 vehicles and six aerial fire-fighting units.

Firefighters control flames approaching a road outside the village of Charneca, in the Sintra national park, west of Lisbon (AP)

Wildfires routinely blacken large areas of forest every year in Portugal.

But last year, they killed 106 people in what was by far the deadliest summer fire season on record.

It was also a wake-up call for authorities, who were widely seen as being slow to react.

This year the government has enacted a raft of preventive measures to make sure fire deaths are reduced.

PA Media

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