Fire starters

Portugal is the third country in Europe, after Spain and Italy, with the largest amount of land burnt this year.

Until the end of last month, around 77,000sqm of forest and scrub land was burnt in Portugal, six times more than in 2008.

Gil Martins, a spokesman from the national Civil Protection authority, said: “In the last two months, there has been a significant increase in the number of fires started at night.”

A total of 70 per cent of fires were caused by people, 41 per cent of those due to negligence.