Fires in Europe: Portugal, Italy and Spain still in flames

Fires are raging in Europe. While since the end of last week, the flames have ravaged several hundred hectares of vegetation in Aveyron, Jura or Maine-et-Loire, France is not the only European country victim of fires . In Portugal, Italy and Spain, firefighters are also very mobilized.

In Portugal, some 10,000 ha of vegetation

More than 1,500 Portuguese firefighters remain mobilized on Friday to try to put out a forest fire that has been raging for almost a week in central Portugal, destroying some 10,000 hectares of vegetation in a natural park. “There is still an active front that concerns us” at the confluence of the municipalities of Guarda and Celorico da Beira, said a civil protection commander, Miguel Cruz, during a press briefing at midday. “The rest of the perimeter is more stable”, he added, specifying that the work on the ground of the firefighters was supported by about fifteen helicopters or water bomber planes, including a Spanish Canadair.

REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

The blaze is already the biggest this summer in Portugal, devastating the Unesco-recognized global geo-park in the Serra da Estrela mountain region, which rises to around 2,000 meters. After having declared itself in the municipality of Covilha, it spread northwards to those of Manteigas, Gouveia, Guarda and then Celorico da Beira. For the past week, this forest fire has also injured around fifteen firefighters and caused the temporary evacuation of around twenty people.

Four forest fires still active in Spain

In Spain, Galicia is particularly affected by forest fires. Four are still active in the province of Ourense. In this northern region of the country where around 22,000 hectares have burned since the beginning of the summer, seven Spanish Air Force firefighting planes have been deployed.

An alert had been launched for the fire in the municipality of Boiro, where at least 1,200 hectares have already been destroyed since last week near inhabited areas, according to a report from the region of Galicia.

Will Italy send Canadairs to France?

France called on the european defense mechanism, which includes material solidarity in the fight against fires, a request that Italy cannot respond to immediately. The country is also in the grip of the flames. “The answer is probably yes, but not right away, because Italian firefighters are facing somewhat the same situation as French firefighters, there are a lot of fires in Italy at the moment, around thirty a day in average”, indicates the journalist Alban Mikoczy to our colleagues from France News, duplex from Rome.

“But they announced this morning that they heard the French request, and that they will do everything to respond to it. There is talk of sending two Canadair (…) as soon as possible, ”adds the journalist. In addition, other European countries have pledged to provide assistance, such as Greece, Romania, Germany and Poland, in order to strengthen French resources in the fight against fires.

Fires in Europe: Portugal, Italy and Spain still in flames