Portuguese leaders break off vacations as forest fires burn on
Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva and Prime Minister Jose Socrates on Friday visited civil defence headquarters in the capital Lisbon, after cutting their vacations short due to forest fires raging in northern regions.
The move came after they were criticized as having failed to learn from the wildfires that have plagued the country in recent years.
Sixteen blazes were raging in Portuguese forests on Friday. The Serra da Estrela mountain range, part of a nature park some 250 kilometres north-east of Lisbon, was the worst hit, civil defence officials said.
Authorities have issued urgent fire warnings in several areas of northern Portugal because of an enduring drought, dpa reported
This July was the worst for forest fires in five years, with 5,500 fires recorded across Portugal and two firefighters killed