Tue, 04 Oct 2022

Portugal on fire alert again

20 Aug 2022, 06:30 GMT+10

LISBON, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Portugal will once more be on fire alert from Sunday onwards due to the "current meteorological and environmental circumstances," the country's Minister of Internal Administration Jose Luis Carneiro said on Friday.

Carneiro said the alert would last until Aug. 23, and will apply to the entire Portuguese mainland.

Speaking at a press conference, Carneiro explained that the alert situation implies "special limitations regarding the use of fire, the use of machinery, and agricultural work, as well as access to forests."

The use of fire is the cause of 54 percent of fire disasters, he said.

Most parts of Portugal are in for a new heatwave starting on Sunday, and the temperature could again top 40 degrees Celsius. Coupled with winds predicted to reach 60 kilometers per hour, this will create the meteorological conditions for drought as well as fire.

Carneiro said the country is doing its utmost to protect its people in these exceptional circumstances. "Everyone has been doing their best, from firefighters to local communities."

Portugal is experiencing one of its worst climate crises in recent years, resulting in fires that have burned more than 84,000 hectares of land since the beginning of this year. This is equivalent to 1 percent of the country's territory, according to data from the European Forest Fire Information System.

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