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Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives 

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Old 06-18-2017, 06:04 AM
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Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

At least 43 people are now known to have died and 59 people injured in the devastating forest blaze in Portugal.
The dead include '16 motorists' who were incinerated in their cars when the fire took them by surprise.
'We are facing the greatest tragedy of human victims of recent times by a disaster of this type,' said the Portuguese prime minister, António Costa.

  • The the devastating forest blaze broke out on Saturday in central Portugal
  • 59 people are injured, at least two people are still missing and homes are ruined
  • The cause is not yet known but Portugal has had temperatures of up to 40C
  • Some 600 firefighters have been fighting the blaze, helped by Spanish rescuers

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Raging forest fires in central Portugal killed at least 43 people, many of them trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road, in what Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Sunday called "the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years."

Nearly 60 other people were injured, including four firefighters and a seriously injured minor, public broadcaster RTP reported, citing Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes.

The fatalities occurred in the Pedrogao Grande area, about 150 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of Lisbon, where about 700 firefighters have been trying to put out the fires since Saturday, Gomes said.

Gomes said that at least 16 people were killed when their vehicles were engulfed by flames on a road between the towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera, and three others died from smoke inhalation in Figueiro dos Vinhos. No information was immediately given on how the others were killed.

A huge wall of thick smoke and bright red flames towered over the top of trees near houses in the wooded region.

Local resident Isabel Brandao told The Associated Press that she had feared for her life.

"Yesterday we saw the fire but thought it was very far. I never thought it would come to this side," she said. "At 3:30 a.m., my mother-in-law woke me up quickly and we never went to sleep again. We were afraid the fire would reach us."

RTP showed terrifying images of several people on a road trying to escape the intense smoke that had reduced visibility to a question of a few meters (yards). A young man shared a bottle of water with a distraught woman as she stumbled down the road.

Costa said that firefighting crews were having difficulties in approaching the area because the fire was "very intense." He added that Portuguese authorities were working on identifying the victims and that Spanish rescuers would assist in efforts to control the blazes.

Costa said that while investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the fire, authorities believe that the high temperatures of 40 C (104 F) in recent days may have played a part.

"This is a region that has had fires because of its forests, but we cannot remember a tragedy of these proportions," said Valdemar Alves, mayor of Pedrogao Grande. "I am completely stunned by the number of deaths."

Portugal, like most southern European countries, is prone to forest fires in the dry summer months.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/...fires-48111891
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...pped-cars.html
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:40 AM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

As deadly & devastating as this is, you can't deny that those are some absolutely stunning photos.

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Old 06-18-2017, 11:58 AM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

Southern California has had this for many decades known as "Wildfire Season".

Really, it's mostly Arson caused 'Wildfire Season'.

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Old 06-18-2017, 04:42 PM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

no this time no arson, but 48 hrs ago there was thunder and lightning in this area without water falling down. It has been there >40°C for more than a week now.
Arson has been done a lot there to "free" forest for urban dev. But Portuguese also know that starting fire in these temp. and dryness is suicide. Guess you don't know that.

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Old 06-18-2017, 04:50 PM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

+80 deaths confirmed, which might break the former record of 1949.
I heard a woman saying it hasn't rained there for more than 2 months.
Also here much more north we gonna have a dryness record for June, and maybe breaking the summer of 1976 drought. And surely getting in that case >37°C, maybe for a week on...
In the coastal region farmers are trying to use river water for the crops, which has been forbidden early this week. No pumping of ground nor river water allowed anymore.
Really Greek conditions...

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Old 06-19-2017, 02:08 PM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

wind has stopped blowing

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Old 10-16-2017, 05:12 PM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

last weeks lots of firemen have been called back to home from their emergency / high alert posts. Due to austerity, EU fiscal compliance act obligations... you can name it as you want.
Après moi, le déluge!

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Old 10-16-2017, 05:59 PM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oswald2001 View Post
Southern California has had this for many decades known as "Wildfire Season".

Really, it's mostly Arson caused 'Wildfire Season'.
All of California, not just southern. It’s called fire season because the humidity is low and the environmental factors are in a perfect natural balance for fires. A reflection from a bottle, a spark from a car - often it’s dry lightning, which happens every year. It can even be piles of decomposing plant matter(compost piles) in the forest. They create natural “Hot Spots” that can ignite.

Yes, there are a lot of idiots that start fires too. The huge one in Lake County 2 years ago was started by a marijuana grower, who wanted to keep his crop from burning - so he started a backfire, in an attempt to create a fire line.

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Old 10-17-2017, 05:18 AM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

Those people stuck in their cars...horrendous

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Old 11-06-2017, 05:06 AM
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Re: Portugal Forest Fires Claim at Least 43 Lives

Sad. & horrible.

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