Over 1,000 firefighters battle to contain Portugal wildfires

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Amendoa: Over one thousand firefighters on Sunday battled to control wildfires in central Portugal. Reports said a number of villages have been evacuated.

The wildfires in 2017 had killed more than a dozen people, authorities said.

Officials said the firefighters were pressed into service to contain the blaze in three places in the mountainous and heavily forested Castelo Branco region. It is situated 200 kilometres north of Lisbon.

Media reports said nearly 20 helicopters and airplanes were involved to douse the flames before nightfall made further flights impossible.

According to reports, four firefighters were injured and three others hurt after their fire engines collided with another. The army said it was sending twenty soldiers and machinery to open routes for the firefighters.

Authorities said several national highways were closed and a number of villages in the region evacuated as a precaution.

In a message, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa expressed his “solidarity with the hundreds fighting the scourge of the fires”.

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