Train causes eight fires in Castelo Branco

Train causes eight fires in Castelo Branco

September 1 still sees more than 30 boroughs at maximum danger for rural fires

A goods train in Castelo Branco appears to have been the cause of eight fires that broke out in quick succession yesterday, causing panic in numerous residential communities.

At first people thought the area was suddenly under attack from arsonists. The first fire began at 4.12pm, and then the others followed within minutes of each other.

The fact that they were all in the area of the train line saw Civil Protection reach the conclusion that they were being started by a train.

Rapid response saw the blazes extinguished – but dangers, and suspicions of arson, persist nationally. Tuesday night, for instance, saw six fires break out in the borough of Ponte da Barca between 8pm and the following morning.

Meanwhile, more than 30 boroughs in Viseu, Guarda, Coimbra, Santarém, Castelo Branco, Portalegre and Faro remain at maximum risk for rural fires today.

IPMA meteorological institute has also placed several boroughs at “very high” and “high” danger while maximum temperatures are much less than they have been through August – ranging from 22ºC – 33ºC in some areas.

The fires in Castelo Branco can be seen in a Youtube clip  uploaded by local online Reconquista

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com