Citizens concerned – smell of fires in Portugal now reaches Madrid


The smell of the dramatic forest fires in Portugal has reached Madrid. “We have received many calls on Madrid-112 from citizens concerned about the smell of fire and smoke: there is a fire in Portugal,” Madrid emergency services said after receiving 380 calls.

The two holiday countries – which are affected by drought and heat – have been struggling with major forest fires for weeks. Now a satellite image from the emergency services on Twitter shows a column of smoke spreading over 300 kilometers – the distance between Portugal and the Spanish capital.

The fire in the Serra da Estrela, already the largest in Portugal this summer, has set fire to some 15,000 hectares, according to the latest preliminary figures from the Portuguese authorities, Euronews reported. The fire destroyed unique forest areas in the UNESCO-recognized park at the heart of the mountain range.

Thousands of people had to leave their homes
10,000 hectares have already burned down in the southeastern Spanish province of Alicante. A fire that broke out on Saturday night after lightning struck the Vall d’Ebo is still not under control. More than 15,000 people had to be taken to safety, authorities said.

In Spain, forest fires in 2022 were three times more devastating than in all of 2021, with 84,827 hectares going up in flames. Portugal, hit by an exceptional drought this year, experienced its hottest July in nearly a century.

The latest figures from the Institute for Nature and Forest Protection show that some 81,000 hectares have gone up in smoke since the beginning of the year, the largest area since the deadly fires of 2017, which killed about 100 people.

Source: Krone


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