700 firefighters in Portugal battle wildfire west of Lisbon

October 07, 2018 - 3:54 am

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Over 700 firefighters are battling a forest fire in Portugal about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Lisbon, the capital.

Portugal's civil protection agency said Sunday the fire that started overnight in a national park has forced the evacuation of 47 people and injured eight firefighters and one civilian. Firefighters on the ground are being supported by 225 vehicles and six aerial fire-fighting units.

Wildfires routinely blacken large areas of forest every year in Portugal. But last year they killed 106 people in what was by far the country's deadliest summer fire season on record.

It was also a wake-up call for authorities, who were slow to react to social trends and a changing climate. This year the government enacted a raft of preventive measures to make sure that fire deaths were reduced.

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