Ten people injured in new Portugal forest fires

Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire in Colmeal, near Gois on the night of June 21, 2017.
Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire in Colmeal, near Gois on the night of June 21, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

LISBON (AFP) – Ten people, including nine firefighters, were injured on Monday (July 3) as two forest fires raged in central Portugal, emergency services said.

One fire, near the town of Tramagal, was largely under control by afternoon and “no longer presents a risk for the population and the affected zones,” emergency services chief Jose Guilherme said on Portuguese television.

A second forest fire, near Sao Pedro de Tomar, was being tackled by 240 firefighters and 50 vehicles.

Two of the firefighters were critically injured after sustaining second-degree burns, spokesman Jorge Dias said, while the others had less severe burns or suffered from smoke inhalation.

The latest infernos come two weeks after a giant blaze broke out at Pedrogao Grande, about 75km north of Tramagal, and spread to adjacent central areas including Gois, Pampilhosa da Serra and Arganil.

That fire raged for five days, killing 64 people and injuring more than 250, with many trapped in their cars by the flames.

Following the tragedy, experts said Portugal is likely to see more massive forest fires because the country is highly exposed to global warming’s climate-altering impacts.