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Portugal wildfires: Firefighters battle huge blazes

Blazes in central Portugal reached houses on Sunday, forcing locals to protect their homes from huge wildfires with buckets of water and hosepipes as strong winds fanned the flames.

One of the three wildfires which broke out on Saturday in Castelo Branco, a district of Lisbon, is still burning. The fire spread to the nearby Santarem district, which threatened several villages in the Vila de Rei and Macao municipalities.

Around 870 firefighters are on the ground according to the National Authority for Civil Protection. Further they are said that the wildfire was easing as the wind loses strength and temperatures drop during the night.

Internal administration minister Eduardo Cabrita said police had opened an investigation on the fires. the local authorities considered it unusual that all the blazes had started in a narrow time frame on Saturday in the same area.

Authorities have evacuated villages and fluvial beaches as a precaution and 30 people have been injured. One civilian is in serious condition and remains hospitalised with first and second-degree burns.

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