Portugal seeks help fighting hundreds of wildfires
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.