High temperatures bring wildfires in various locations

Hundreds of firefighters spread over three significant blazes

This weekend’s blazing temperatures have prompted major fires in a number of areas – Castelo Branco being the most significant.

Over a thousand firefighters from various corporations are still battling the Castelo Branco wildfire, which began on Friday, and has already devastated thousands of hectares of forestland.

Today, further fires began in Leiria, and then São Teotónio along the Costa Vicentina. These too are still flagged as underway. A smaller fire reported in Monchique is ‘in conclusion’.

The one saving grace, despite super-high temperatures and super-low humidity, is that the wind that has been blowing hard for days has finally dropped. This may work in firefighters’ favour. But the Castelo Branco fire particularly appears to be some way from the stage where authorities feel they are getting control.

“We have a defined strategy; we are positioning human resources and land clearing machines, which are playing a very important role in consolidating the perimeter of the fire, which will be a job done during the day and during the night, and we hope to quickly resolve a situation that is complicated”, civil protection regional commander Jody Rato said earlier this afternoon.

In Sintra where the fire risk is immense, due to the depth of forests in the area, the monuments and hillside perimeter will be closed to the public tomorrow as a precaution.

To follow progress of fires, see, and/ or the Algarve-run facebook group Alerta de Incéndio Florestal/ Forest Fire Alert.

People in the Algarve, particularly Monchique/ Portimão areas may be smelling smoke/ seeing a smoke cloud, this evening, which is blowing from the São Teotónio fire which has been picking up momentum since 4pm.

UPDATE SUNDAY MORNING: Leiria fire which spread to Ourém considered ‘dominated’; fires in Castelo Branco and around São Teotónio, Odemira, still being tackled. A lot less smoke over Algarve.