Populations evacuated from four new areas due to São Teotónio fire
Image: António Pedro Santos/ Lusa

Populations evacuated from four new areas due to São Teotónio fire

Combat “is not easy”; evacuations for ‘precautionary purposes’

Four further locations have seen populations evacuated this afternoon as flames continue to rage in the parish of São Teotónio.

Unconfirmed reports have already suggested this fire, that began yesterday afternoon, has broken into the borough of Aljezur (that is, has moved into the Algarve).

This is not quite so clear in reports coming out in the wider media which continue to stick with the ‘news’ that the front that had been threatening the Algarve is extinguished.

That said, this battle “is not easy”, in the words of regional civil protection deputy commander Tiago Bugio, who admits the wind is “complicating combat”.

The four locations evacuation this afternoon are all within the borough of Odemira: Sobral, Corgos, Choça dos Vales and Relva Grande.

Almost 400 firefighters are tackling this blaze, from various corporations, backed by over 100 appliances and getting overhead support from between 11-13 water-carrying aircraft (the numbers of aircraft in the air keep changing).

Anyone driving in this area (an activity not advised while the fire is active) will find traffic hold ups and road diversions. The municipal road 501 giving access to Relva Grande is ‘conditioned’, as is the municipal route 1186 between São Miguel and Vale dos Alhos.

Bottom line: as in the blaze further north around Castelo Branco/ Proença a Nova, the next few hours, while aerial support can fly, will be decisive.

Aljezur municipality meantime has warned its population in the parish of Odeceixe that homes and businesses could find difficulties getting mains water over the next few hours, as firefighters are taking water from the network to tackle the blaze