Portugal on fire alert as temperatures rise for first weekend of spring

Many districts in Portugal are on ‘fire alert’ due to the rising temperatures which are due to reach nearly 30ºC in some parts of the country this weekend.

Seven boroughs in Faro are on “high” or “very high” alert this Friday, according to the website of Portugal’s sea and atmosphere institute (IPMA). The warning extends to Beja, Santarém and Portalegre on Saturday and to Castelo Branco on Sunday.

By Monday, a total of 87 boroughs around Portugal will be on ‘fire alert’.

Forecasts suggest this weekend will be one of the hottest of 2019, with maximum temperatures ranging between 28ºC in Setúbal and 21ºC in Faro on Saturday.

Meantime, specialists are warning that Portugal is in need of “abundant rain” in April and May to help end the country’s severe drought.

“Our climate is becoming very similar to that of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia,” says Filipe Duarte Santos, president of the national council of the environment and sustainable development (CNADS).

The situation is even worse in the Algarve, he explains, although 80% of the country was in a state of severe or extreme drought in December.

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