Portugal declares emergency as wildfires spread close to capital Lisbon

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Aug. 1 (UPI) — A state of emergency was issued throughout Portugal on Monday as wildfires hit various locations around the country, including near the capital of Lisbon as it was hit with intensively high temperatures.

About 3,000 firefighters were battling blazes around the country on Sunday, Portugal’s civil protection agency said. It said almost 30 people were injured in Lisbon suburbs after the fires broke out.

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Wildfires have been an ongoing problem in Portugal this year. Last month, the country activated the European Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism for emergency assistance in containing blazes in the central part of the country.

Residents evacuated their homes in danger zones as weather experts predicted temperatures on Tuesday of up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in Alentejo, which is located between Lisbon and Algarve.

In Ourem, a wildfire forced evacuations from a river beach when the blaze broke out on Sunday, according to Portugal’s National Emergency and Protection Authority.

More than 400 emergency personnel took part in controlling the Ourem fire, which was located in Santarem district.

Fires have destroyed more than 75,000 acres in Portugal so far this year, mostly in the northern portion of the country. A number of people have also died in connection to the fires this summer.

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This year so far has been one of the worst for wildfires in Portugal, which has seen an uptick in blazes in recent history. About 100 people died as a result of widespread blazes in the country in 2017.