More than 1 000 firefighters are battling several large wildfires in central Portugal since July 20, 2019. Fanned by strong winds, the fires are burning in heavily forested Castelo Branco region, 200 km (124 miles) N of capital Lisbon.
Several national highways were closed and numerous villages evacuated in a region where dozens were killed by huge wildfires in 2017, Civil Protection said. One resident and 4 firefighters were injured and transported to hospitals. One firefighter sustained serious injuries.
Location of the #IFVilaDeRei multiple #wildfires for which we have received an activation from @ProteccaoCivil— Copernicus EMS (@CopernicusEMS) July 21, 2019
Our #RapidMapping is at work, finalising the imagery acquisition plan
Follow #EMSR372 for updates#Sentinel3 image acquired on 18 July pic.twitter.com/MqRIPJ7gnO
ÚLTIMA HORA: #incendio de importantes dimensiones en el centro de #Portugal. Su banda de humo se está adentrando en #Extremadura. Es tan grande que podemos verlo a simple vista en la imagen del satélite. #incêndio #IFVilaDeRei #Fundada #Mação pic.twitter.com/6hp9xByv5S— MeteoBadajoz (@MeteoBadajoz) July 20, 2019
Our #RapidMappingTeam has received an activation overnight, for @IFVilladeRei, the large forest fires affecting the area of Castelo Branco in central Portugal— Copernicus EMS (@CopernicusEMS) July 21, 2019
According to media reports more than 1,000 firefighters are mobilised, the front is >8km and 2,000 ha are affected pic.twitter.com/M9zxEK2rY1
Wild fire in Central Portugal, #IFVilaDeRei #IFSerta #IFMação@MeteoBedunia @RAM_meteo @severeweatherEU @OTempoTVG @RedmeteoP @AEMET_Galicia @ecazatormentas @aquilatierratve @tiempobrasero @4gotas_com pic.twitter.com/j05VS6KVhZ— Meteo Trás-os-Montes (@MeteoOs) July 20, 2019
Humo de los incendios forestales que afectan a Portugal, desde Valencia de Alcántara, Cáceres.— Álvaro R.G. (@AlvaroRguezGlez) July 20, 2019
Con fuerte olor a quemado y viento.@castan_tere @madorobla @JuanAntonioBer8 @meteocastuera @MeteoBadajoz @geoinex @TomasR0cha @GameroPepi @meteo7dias @Extremadura7D @MeteoIberiaEs pic.twitter.com/qVQeTz3tOq
Major fires in Castelo Branco, Sertã and Castelo Branco, Vila de Rei, Portugal yesterday, July 20th! Report: Incêndios Ativos via Pedro Silva - thank you! pic.twitter.com/Xu1vO7XmbG— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) July 21, 2019
Although more than 1 000 firefighters are battling the fires, with the help of the army and around 20 helicopters and airplanes, locals are saying there are not enough of them and urging officials to send more.
Copernicus Academy member Celso Coco made a very preliminary and unofficial estimate of the area affected as of early Sunday, July 21. The affected area is believed to be more than 8 000 ha (19 800 acres) and very close to the catastrophic 2017 wildfires in which more than 60 people lost their lives.
Featured image credit: Eumetsat, Meteo Badajoz
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