Photo: Facebook: Proteção Civil - SMPC - Castro Marim

Scorching heat and strong winds see Castro Marim wildfire reignite; 280 firefighters battle blaze

UPDATE: According to the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, at 7.20pm, around 400 firefighters, assisted by 129 vehicles and three aircrafts, were fighting the blaze, which has already spread to Vila Real de Santo António and Tavira boroughs. Several houses, warehouses and vehicles have been destroyed. Rural communities have been evacuated. The A22 motorway has been cut off to traffic between Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António due to the heavy smoke.

The Castro Marim wildlife has reignited this afternoon at around 3pm, after authorities had brought it under control at 10.20am this morning. The flames are affecting several rural communities, which have had to be evacuated.

In total, 280 firefighters, 10 aircrafts and 87 vehicles are battling the flames as scorching temperatures of around 40ºC and high winds are making combat all the more difficult.

The blaze broke out just after 1am today in the Odeleite parish council and led authorities to evacuate residents from their homes in the rural communities of Pero dos Negros, Amendoeira and Marroquil.

Four Portuguese municipalities – Castelo Branco, Faro, Portalegre and Guarda – are under ‘red alert’, the highest level, due to the increased risk of fire.

Meantime, thirty-eight arson cases have been reported in Portugal in the last 24 hours. Three men have been detained, revealed the civil protection authority.

ines.lopes@algarveresident.com