High probability they were caused by arsonists
After another very difficult day in which some areas saw multiple fires break out at exactly the same time in the heat of the afternoon, the number of active fires in Portugal (all in the north and central regions) had been brought down to three in the early hours of this morning.
One of the blazes that began yesterday afternoon in Panacova (Coimbra district) had been declared extinct 12 hours later, albeit hundreds of firefighters will be involved in dampening down and vigilance operations through the day, as will other firefighters attached to other incidents in phases of resolution and conclusion.
In total, there were still 18 fires involving roughly 1,000 firefighting men and women on the Civil Protection incident list as of dawn today.
This morning sees the start of a ‘red warning’ for four districts: Vila Real, Bragança, Guarda and Viseu, meaning there will be ‘reinforced checks’ made by GNR agents and the Armed Forces.
The danger of rural fires remains at maximum risk throughout the north and central regions, and will continue this way until at least Thursday, meteorological institute IPMA has forecast.