Firefighter killed in central Portugal forest fire
A firefighter was killed while battling a forest blaze in central Portugal on Thursday, while about 600 people were evacuated from two river beaches close to the flames, rescue services said.
The veteran firefighter with 19 years experience was “trapped by the flames” near Figueiro dos Vinhos after filling his truck’s water tank, local fire commander Lusa Joaquim Pinto said.
He was Portugal’s second firefighter to have died on the job this year. On July 21, a female firefighter died and one colleague was injured in a road accident as they travelled to tackle a forest fire in the central Abrantes region.
By late afternoon, about 600 people were evacuated from beaches in the Leiria district, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Lisbon.
The Abrantes wildfire, fanned by high winds, was progressing on two fronts as about 260 firefighters aided by four aircraft tackled it.
Separately, four other blazes were raging across the country.