Algarve on fire alert as temperatures rise
Portugal’s fire service usually is on stand-by from May as summer temperatures start to affect the countryside, but firefighting teams already have been battling blazes in the north of the country with the Algarve now of special concern.
The above average March temperatures and close to zero rainfall has left the countryside tinder-dry with fire risk warnings in place i the Algarve until the expected rainfall on Sunday.
Some regions have seen temperatures of 28C, much hotter than normal for this time of year, with the added effect of a dry easterly wind from Spain due to hit in the next few days.
Authorities say the Algarve region is of concern with firefighters on standby and a ban on burning cut vegetation.
In June 2017, 64 people were killed and more than 250 were injured in wildfires, which devastated the central town of Pedrógão Grande.
No one was killed in 2018 after authorities tighten safety measures and boosted response services.