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Dozens of injured and nearly 2,500 hectares burned: forest fires besiege Portugal in the midst of a scorching heat wave

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Temperatures in various regions of the country could rise to 45 degrees Celsius between Monday and Wednesday.

The forest fires that have hit Portugal since Thursday in the middle of a wave of record heat have already consumed about 2,500 hectares of land in the country, local media report.

According to data from the Civil Protection of Portugal corresponding to 10:00 p.m. (local time) this Sunday, the country has registered 60 rural fires. Most of the fires are located in the districts of Porto, Lisbon and Braga.

According to the latest updated information, 15 firefighters suffered minor injuries, while other 35 members of the fire department and 17 civilians received medical treatment, detailed the national commander of Emergency and Civil Protection, André Fernandes.

This weekend, which was described by the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, as “high risk”, temperatures in various regions of the country exceeded 40 degrees Celsius , while it is expected that rise to 45 degrees between Monday and Wednesday.

This Saturday, the country’s authorities decreed the contingency situation in the national territory —which replaces the state of alert in force until midnight this Sunday and will remain in force between Monday and Friday— to mobilize all available resources to fight the fires.

In total, more than 2,200 firefighters are currently active to control the fire. For its part, the European Commission deployed two high-speed amphibious aircraft located in Spain to provide additional support to Portugal.

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