Hundreds of firefighters have been mobilized in the north and central parts of Portugal to battle the forest fires that erupted again in the country.
The blazes, which had appeared to be coming under some sort of control, resumed on Sunday and mobilized 700 firefighters who were supported by five French and Croatian aircraft. More than 250 firefighters and planes as well as two helicopters from the Portuguese army fought with a bush fire close to Gondomar, in the district of Poto. Another forest fire close to Sever do Vouga in south of the country led to the mobilization of 100 Portuguese firefighters who were helped by Croatian planes.
“The wind blows with such an intensity that it constitutes the main obstacle to firefighters, ” said Jose Bismarck, commander of the firefighters in the city of Aveiro.
Portugal had experienced a period of respite since Friday after successfully mastering flames in the mountainous region of Caramulo where three lost their lives and five went missing. “We thought we were in a war zone,” said a resident of the village of Caramulo, adding, “The firefighters who came to save the house of my parents told me it was like a firestorm.” According to Portuguese officials, authorities recorded over 300 new fires since Saturday. Spain, France and Croatia have sent aircraft to Portugal in an effort to assist the country in fighting with the blazes. Portuguese weather forecast has predicted higher temperatures and stronger winds until Tuesday.