The Algarve woke up this morning to such an intense smell and sight of smoke that many took to social media to ask which part of the region was on fire.
But a source from the rescue operation command (CDOS Faro) confirmed to us that the smoke has blown down to the Algarve from central Portugal’s fires, mainly from Mação, Santarém.
Around 800 firefighters are battling flames in Mação, where over 80 people have already had to be removed from their homes.
Mação mayor Vasco Estrela says “80% to 90% of the borough has burnt down”, describing the scenario as “devastating”.
“The whole borough is destroyed,” he told Lusa news agency.
The good news is that another major fire that was raging in Vila de Rei, Castelo Branco, and which had been described as “completely out of control”, has finally been contained, with firefighters now ensuring it is completely put out and hot spots do not reignite.
Vila de Rei mayor Ricardo Aires described the fire as “hell” but stressed that thankfully no one was hurt, though the flames devastated around half of the borough.