Around 80 people were evacuated from Caldas de Monchique after the blaze seemed to be gaining in strength. Other areas in the vicinity could also be in danger, according to authorities. The fire, which has raged since Sunday morning, worsened dramatically just as we were going to press, coaxed by the strong winds.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Internal Administration, Daniel Sanches, announced at the beginning of Tuesday that aerial support would be bolstered in the wake of the fires engulfing parts of the country. Sanches said that the fight against blazes in Alcoutim and Castro Marim would be reinforced with the help of a Canadair plane from Spain. The minister also said that two other Canadair planes were expected to come from Greece. In addition, the armed forces are supplying another 250 men, on top of the 250 who are already on the ground.
Speaking at 10pm last Monday night, Sanches said that throughout the country as a whole the most worrying fires were those in Silves, Castro Verde, Castro Marim and all the fires in the Algarve. “It is a profoundly difficult situation,” said Sanches. He went on to stress that the risk of ongoing fires remained high owing to the current atmospheric conditions.
As the fires blazed, Loulé Câmara issued a statement regarding a fire in its hilltop town of Alte – the communiqué urged residents to remain calm and said all available means were being introduced to bring the situation under control.