Portugal brings 2nd wildfire under control after 64 died

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 23, 2017

Portuguese authorities said they have contained a risky wildfire that raged for five days near another blaze that killed 64 people last weekend.

However, the abnormally high temperatures Portugal has been experiencing - and which exacerbated the flames - are expected to drop in the coming days, helping firefighters' efforts.

The fire in Pedrogao Grande, which ravaged 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of forests, was doused only late Wednesday.

This comes after forest fires in neighboring Pedrogao Granda killed 64 people before also being quelled.

"It is essential to fully clarify what happened", he added.

Fire Chief Jaime Marta Soares stated today (Thursday) that he is positive the thunderstorm that is believed to have started the fire, began only two hours later when the fire was already large.

The head of Portugal's League of Firefighters said that he believes a "criminal hand" may be behind the huge and deadly forest fires in Portugal this week.

A total of 1,156 firefighters and 413 vehicles were involved in the firefighting in the Gois area, according to the Portuguese Civil Protection Authority.

"My nephew died, a fireman" said Joaquim Serra da Fonseca, 68, in Castanheira de Pera, which sits along the N236 national road that has since been dubbed the "road of death".

Several media say that the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere does not yet have data to confirm a storm as the cause of the catastrophe, considered by Prime Minister António Costa as "the greatest tragedy of human victims" in the last times in the Portugal.

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