Por­tu­gal seeks help fight­ing hun­dreds of wild­fires

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

PARIS | More than 4,000 firefighters were bat­tling more than 250 wild­fires in Por­tu­gal, which has asked for aid from other Euro­pean Union na­tions.

Civil Pro­tec­tion Agency spokes­woman Pa­tri­cia Gas­par said Por­tu­gal set an an­nual record for new fires on Satur­day, when 268 sep­a­rate fires started. That sur­passed the 220 fresh blazes recorded on Fri­day, the pre­vi­ous year-to-date high mark for fires starting on the same day.

In Greece, au­thor­i­ties said ar­son could be be­hind a series of fires fire rag­ing on sev­eral fronts on the west­ern Greek is­land of Zakyn­thos.

The coun­try’s fire ser­vice said there were “sus­pi­cions of foul play” after five fires broke out late Satur­day and early Sun­day. A to­tal of 53 wild­fires broke out in Greece on Satur­day and more did on Sun­day, in­clud­ing on a beach re­sort near Athens.

Mean­while, France’s in­te­rior min­is­ter has ex­pressed his “pro­found grat­i­tude” to the 1,200 firefighters and emer­gency work­ers bat­tling wild­fires in southern France and Cor­sica over the week­end.

Ger­ard Col­lomb said there been no ca­su­al­ties from the fires thanks to ground crews and the air teams that car­ried out 300 wa­ter drops in 24 hours.

Fierce flames have rav­aged some 5,190 acres of land since Thurs­day in southern France, with 4,940 acres burned in Cor­sica alone.

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