LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Almost 1,000 firefighters and 15 water-dropping aircraft battled a major wildfire in central Portugal on Monday, as strong winds pushed the flames through dense and hilly woodlands.
The blaze was in central Portugal around Proença-a-Nova, 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Lisbon.
The fire’s perimeter stretched more than 55 kilometres (34 miles), local Civil Protection Agency commander Luis Belo Costa told a news conference, adding that an “extraordinary” amount of tinder-dry vegetation was fueling the flames.
About two dozen people were evacuated from hamlets as more than a dozen bulldozers cleared firebreaks in the area.
The wildfire began Sunday, and five firefighters suffered burns in its initial stages as their vehicle was caught in the flames.