Home News Portugal battles fires in tourist region Algarve

Portugal battles fires in tourist region Algarve

Published on 21/07/2012

More than 1,000 fire fighters and rescuers backed by helicopters and water bombing planes battled Saturday to douse a forest fire in Portugal's southern Algarve region, a top tourist draw.

Six firemen were injured and taken to hospital but discharged after treatment, local firefighting official Nuno Bento told Lusa news agency.

The flames, raging since Wednesday, have ravaged 5,000 hectares (12,350 acres) and destroyed at least five houses near the town of Tavira east of Algarve’s capital Faro.

Four helicopters, four water bombing planes and some 250 firefighting trucks were involved in the rescue efforts.

Forest fires have also been raging on the popular tourist island of Madeira. Spain and the Canary Islands have also been affected by fires in recent days.