Fires rage in Alentejo.jpg

Fires rage in Alentejo

Fire fighters from across the western Alentejo tackled a forest fire near Amoreiras Gare on Sunday.

Thought to have started from sparks thrown by a freight train with a seized brake, the fire rapidly spread from the railway, fanned by strong winds, directly towards the hamlets surrounding Amoreiras Gare.

The fire support helicopters from Odemira, Ourique and Beja provided aerial support, using water from a nearby barragem (dam).

The new Civil Protection support and command centre vehicle was also brought in to co-ordinate the response.

On Monday, a second fire also raged through woodland, temporarily closing the road to Odemira, in the same region. This was quickly brought under control again using the helicopters from Ourique and Odemira. The hot weather and strong winds are increasing the risk of fires spreading rapidly. The second fire was thought to be a cigarette butt thrown on the verge of the highway.