Portugal awaits foreign help to fight deadly wildfires

Portugal awaits foreign help to fight deadly wildfires

Portugal awaits foreign help to fight deadly wildfires

A woman reacts during a fire in Pampilhosa da Serra, central of Portugal, 18 June 2017. Reporting for euronews, Filipa Soares said that no doubt the road on which many people lost their loves, their cars engulfed in the flames, will from now on be referred to as the "road of death".

Public broadcaster RTP said there were about 20 injured, including six firefighters.

More than 350 soldiers joined the 700 firefighters who have been struggling to put out the blaze.

A huge wall of thick smoke and bright red flames towered over the top of trees near houses in the wooded region.

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Isabel Brandao said Sunday that she had feared for her life when she saw the Pedrogao Grande blaze.

"We escaped in time, me on the tractor and he with our van", Luisilda said. Both of them were scared of the fire and the possibility of it reaching them. A young man shared a bottle of water with a distraught woman as she stumbled down the road.

A Firefighter battles with a fire in Pampilhosa da Serra, central of Portugal.

More than 1,000 firefighters are tackling the wildfires around the town of Pedrogao Grande, where 62 people died Saturday night. Shocked residents said a whole family that was trying to flee their home in a vehicle had been caught in "a tornado of flames". Four are in a serious condition. The Portuguese government has established a national period of mourning from Sunday to Tuesday in honor of the victims of the fire, which continues to burn as 1,600 firefighters along with police and military personnel work to stop it. In addition, Spain has also sent aircraft on a bilateral basis. France also sent three aircrafts.

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He added that firefighting crews are having difficulties battling the "very violent flames".

"The fire has reached a level of human tragedy that we have never known before", said a visibly moved Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

A massive forest fire in central Portugal has spread to the streets, causing major fatalities in its wake.

Portugal's civil protection agency, which coordinates firefighting efforts, issued a warning of the increased risk for forest fires on Friday. The fire area is covered in dense woodland over steep hills.

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Speaking in the Vatican, Pope Francis, who visited Portugal last month, mentioned the victims in his weekly address: "I am close to the dear people of Portugal, hit by a devastating fire which is raging in the forests around Pedrogao Grande, causing many victims and injuries".

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