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Forest fire plows through bushland in Aljezur, 323 people on-site, roads controlled, and nearby homes evacuated

64forest fireThis afternoon a wildfire began spreading through the bushland surrounding Vilarinha, within the municipality of Aljezur. By 19:30, there were 323 operational personnel on the ground, supported by 96 vehicles and 11 aerial means.

The fire is reported to have started at around 12:55 pm today and is moving towards a forest area, with a high density of trees. A source from the Algarve Relief Operations Command told press that the fire “is active” and that the strong wind that is felt today has only worked to make the situation worse.

At the site, the Fire Brigade team, which has gathered from various parts of the Algarve, is trying hard to fight the flames that intensively plow the Vilarinha bush area, spread over three different fronts.

“We preventively moved between 25 to 30 people from scattered dwellings that were in front of the fire and who were displaced to the village of Pedralva ”, said Abel Gomes, from the Algarve District Operations Command (CDOS). The official was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a press conference taking stock of the COVID-19 situation, and revealed that there is, so far, “no information of any damage or any injury in the theatre of operations”.

Abel Gomes added that the fire raged on three fronts, with great intensity. The fight against the fire is being hampered by the “wind force”, which blows with “gusts of around 40 to 50 kph”, said the second commander of Civil Protection in the Algarve.

The fire has also forced the cut of traffic on National Roads 268, between Bordeira (Aljezur) and Vila do Bispo, and on 125, in the Burgau area, in the municipality of Vila do Bispo, to which the fire has already spread, stated the District Command of Relief Operations (CDOS) of Faro. The CDOS source also revealed that “30 to 40 people have already been removed from the area, who have been displaced to the village of Pedralva, in Vila do Bispo, and that “fighting the fire is being hampered by the intense wind ”, which has been at the origin of “long distance projections” that make combat on the ground difficult, as it is composed of dense undergrowth.

At 7:30 pm, the website of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection reported 323 operatives on the ground, supported by 96 vehicles and 11 aerial means.