A fire that broke out in a rural area of Odemira in the Alentejo yesterday afternoon (June 28) – and brought huge clouds of smoke to the Algarve – was put out during the early hours of this morning, Portugal’s civil protection website has revealed.
The fire started at around 1.30pm in Malhada Formosa near Sabóia and was fought by 287 firefighters from Beja, Évora, Faro, Lisbon and Setúbal, assisted by 99 vehicles – including two aeroplanes and three helicopters.
Only when the night came were firefighters able to bring the fire under control and put it out.
Vast areas of forest and scrubland have been consumed by the flames, while farmland, beehives and agricultural equipment have also been destroyed.
Devastated farmers told reporters that they have suffered huge losses to property. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Meantime, Portugal’s Sea and Atmosphere Institute (IPMA) warns that 20 municipalities across Portugal face a “maximum risk of fire” today in the districts of Santarém, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Leiria, Guarda and Viseu.