According to preliminary information from local authorities, four firefighters were injured in Serra da Estrela, in the center of the country. Several cities are threatened by fire. A fire broke out in Covilha municipality on Saturday. Meanwhile, firefighters are battling a “monster” fire in the French region of Landeras.
Fear of a major loss of biodiversity
At the start of the week, wildfires in Portugal initially seemed to be under control – but they erupted again on Tuesday afternoon. About 1,000 firefighters are battling the flames. The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is located in the highest region of mainland Portugal, with the highest peaks reaching nearly 2,000 meters above sea level. Environmental protection organization Quercus fears that the fires will lead to a significant loss of biodiversity.
Like many other countries bordering the Mediterranean, Portugal is experiencing an exceptional drought this year. The National Meteorological Institute recorded the warmest July in more than 100 years. According to figures from the ICNF Institute for Nature Conservation, 70,000 hectares of vegetation have caught fire since the beginning of the year.
France: 10,000 people evacuated
Forest fires in France are affecting an area close to the heart of the grape-growing region of Bordeaux. “I would classify the fire in Landeras as a massive fire,” Gregory Alloni of the French Fire Brigade Association FNSPF told RTL radio. “It’s a beast, a beast.”
Forest fires broke out in the Gironde region this week, destroying homes and evacuating some 10,000 residents. Some residents had to be rescued from their rooftops because the flames were so close.
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