31 killed in Portugal wildfires, 4 in Spain
Coruna (Spain): Hundreds of wildfires ravaging the northwestern corner of the Iberian peninsula have killed at least 31 people in Portugal and four in Spain’s Galicia region, officials in both nations said on Monday.
Patricia Gaspar, a spokeswoman for Portugal’s Civil Protection service, said the latest death toll was still provisional as efforts to gather information from several villages encircled by the fires were ongoing, Efe news reported.
At least 51 people were injured in the conflagrations, 15 of whom were in a serious condition.
The victims succumbed to the flames in the central Portuguese districts of Coimbra, Guarda, Castelo Branco and Viseu, where the majority of the more than 500 wildfires that affected the country over the weekend broke out.
Around 145 fires were still active, Gaspar said and over 4,529 firefighters were battling to extinguish the infernos in Portugal.
Fires were also ravaging areas of Portugal’s north and across the Spanish border similar blazes in the region of Galicia claimed four lives.
In Spain, the victims were a 78-year-old man who died trying to save his animals in a village in the Orense province, officials said.
Two women died on Sunday when the van they were travelling in was engulfed in flames in Spain’s province of Pontevedra.
A fourth victim was identified as a 70-year-old man who died after falling while trying to extinguish a fire in the city of Vigo.
Another three people remained hospitalised with burns and several others were being treated for smoke inhalation.
Other forest fires were recorded in the northern region of Asturias.
In all instances, the flames were fanned by unusually high fall temperatures and winds pushing up ahead of former hurricane Ophelia, which was heading north through the Atlantic towards the British Isles.