With almost 100 municipalities in 15 districts on red fire alert today, the government has decreed that any public sector workers who also serve as volunteer firefighters should be allowed off work to be on hand at fire stations.
Stultifying temperatures are expected to continue till at least Sunday, meaning the risks of wildfires breaking out are extreme.
Added to this is the likelihood of a dry easterly wind – possibly bringing gusts of up to 70 km/hour – and very low humidity.
Expresso describes the situation as “a cocktail of undesirable circumstances”.
All restrictions on activities that could start fires remain in place, with 85 ‘vigilance patrols’ ongoing in various parts of the country.
The worst of the wind is expected in the north and central areas, but the Algarve remains one of the districts most at risk of fire – with Silves , Monchique, Aljezur, São Brás de Alportel , Tavira, Alcoutim, and Castro Marim all on maximum risk for the rest of the week.
The boroughs of Lagos, Portimão and Loulé are pegged at the slightly lower “very elevated risk”.
Elsewhere, the most vulnerable districts have been listed as Beja, Castelo Branco, Portalegre, Santarém, Leiria, Coimbra, Guarda, Viseu, Porto, Aveiro, Vila Real, Braga, Viana do Castelo and Bragança.