The fire in Serra da Estrela, Portugal’s largest protected area, is the most extensive recorded in the country since 2018, the Portuguese Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests reported on Monday.
The 10-day fire caused 26 injuries and devastated more than 16,000 hectares, with new outbreaks still recorded on Monday.
According to the Portuguese Civil Protection Agency, almost 1,700 firefighters were mobilized to combat the fire, supported by more than 500 vehicles and 17 aircraft.
The fire is violent in many areas, and with a high intensity, said Andre Fernandes, national commander of the Civil Protection Agency, at a press conference.
He added that relief workers are evacuating villages threatened by the fire and putting in place travel restrictions in such areas.
According to the institute, half of the 10 biggest fires in the last five years occurred this year.
Portugal is suffering waves of extreme heat and severe drought, which has caused fire outbreaks in several parts of the country. ■