Portugal seeks EU help to fight forest fires

Four water-dumping aircraft sought as dozens of fires rage in the north and centre of drought-hit country.

    Portugal seeks EU help to fight forest fires
    There are dozens of fires raging across the country, with 1,700 firefighters being deployed [EPA]

    Portugal is seeking European Union help as the country's firefighters struggle to contain forest blazes blamed on high temperatures and strong winds.

    Dozens of fires are raging in the centre and north of the country, with 1,700 firefighters being deployed.

    Portugal is asking for four water-dumping aircraft, after a helicopter being used in the operations crashed.

    Officials say one man died while trying to protect his farm from one of the largest blazes, at Ourem about 150km north of Lisbon.

    Media reported two people were hurt when a firefighting helicopter crashed in the same area.

    Much of Portugal is in severe drought, and hot, windy weather is forecast for most of the week.

    Patricia Gaspar, a civil protection service official, said Portugal has asked other European countries to provide at least four water-dumping aircraft.

    Neighbouring Spain has also been battling fires this year, with some 153,000 hectares of land scorched since January.

    Over the weekend, thousands of people fled homes along the southern Costa del Sol, home to a large British expatriate community and one of Spain's most popular holiday destinations.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.