Portugal deploys 3,000 Firefighters to battle Heatwave Blazes

Wildfires are sweeping across northern and central Portugal, where an estimated 3,000 firefighters and more than 60 aircraft are battling to quell the flames amid scorching temperatures.

Authorities said 12 firefighters and 17 civilians required medical assistance to treat minor injuries caused by the blazes, Portuguese state television RTP and other local media reported on Sunday.

The European Union on Sunday activated its firefighting air fleet assistance programme that allows member nations to share resources. Spain, which has also endured wildfires recently, quickly responded by mobilising two firefighting planes to send to its Iberian neighbour, according to EU Crisis Commissioner Janez Lenarcic.

Portugal’s government said it has deployed 60 aircraft to support its ground crews.

Portugal has long suffered large, and sometimes tragic, forest fires. In 2017, out-of-control wildfires killed more than 100 people.

The EU says climate change has the continent facing one of its hardest years for natural disasters such as droughts and wildfires

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