Firefighters dominate one of three fronts raging in São Teotónio

Firefighters dominate one of three fronts raging in São Teotónio

Winds picking up mid-morning; Algarve ‘no longer under threat’

Firefighters have reportedly ‘dominated’ one of the three fronts of the wildfire that sprang up in scrubland and pine forests in the parish of São Teotónio (Odemira borough) yesterday afternoon.

Nonetheless, winds which had dropped have since picked up, increasing the danger of reignitions.

Early this morning, civil protection regional commander Tiago Bugio told Lusa: “Things are better; the front travelling in the direction of the Algarve is dominated. But the fire continues active on fronts in the north and east”.

Tiago Bugio’s reading of the situation was that “the flames are ceding to means of combat”, which involve nine firefighting planes and helicopters, over 300 firefighters and roughly 120 appliances.

Campers and residents of the campsite in São Miguel (evacuated last night as a precaution) have been allowed to return – but the day is still ‘young’; temperatures intense, ‘there is still a long way to go’.

Elsewhere, smaller fires have been breaking out all over the country – generally swiftly brought to a conclusion.

The fire in Leiria, yesterday considered one of the main concerns for firefighters, was pronounced ‘dominated’ in the early hours of this morning, while the blaze in Castelo Branco is still active and has consumed vast quantities of tinder-box dry forest and scrubland. Over one thousand firefighters have been tackling this particular blaze which began on Friday.

The photograph below taken from Odeceixe (Aljezur borough) last night is circulating over social media, and shows how dramatic the night sky looked over Baiona, the frontier between Odemira borough and the start of the Algarve.

UPDATES: Sunday lunchtime sees situation in Castelo Branco described as “stabilised”: no active fronts remain, four hot-spots are being controlled, but the fire has this far stretched 60kms as far as Proença-a-Nova, and the next few hours will be critical.

Around 3pm this afternoon, the fire in the parish of São Teotónio was showing no sign of ‘calming’: a huge dark smoke cloud was developing across the area – significantly larger than the cloud visible earlier this morning. Unconfirmed reports over social media put flames already on the other side of the Seixe river, in the borough of Aljezur.

Photo by Filipe Martins, published over Facebook, at 3pm today

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