A fire in Portugal could cause, media reported

© AFP 2017 / Joana Ojaleshi fires in Portugal. Archival photoA fire in Portugal could cause, media reported© AFP 2017 / Joana Sousa

A fire in the Central part of Portugal, which killed 64 people, was triggered, according to the publication Publico, which is a statement by the head of the Association «League of the Portuguese firemen» Jaime Marta Soares (Jaime Marta Soares).

On Saturday in the municipality of Pedrogao Grande (Leiria district) broke out a powerful fire. Authorities announced that the cause was struck a tree by lightning during a dry storm. Because of the heat and strong wind the fire spread rapidly through the woods, and spread to the settlements located in this area. Dozens of people were trapped by fire on the road between figueiró DOS Vinhos and Castanheira di Pera, 30 of them died in their cars. The death toll amounted to 64 people, only half of them managed to identify. The number of victims in the fires reached 200 people.

On Wednesday, the President of the «League of Portuguese firefighters» Association, which unites almost all of fire country, Jaime Marta Soares stated that «fire has a criminal origin,» according to the newspaper Publico. «I am convinced that the storm started later than the fire broke out, the fire has spread, when it started,» said Soares. According to him, between the beginning of the fire and the beginning of the dry storms have passed two hours.

In his opinion, it is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation, which would help to «establish the truth». Soares recalled that in Portugal from 26% to 32% of fires are caused by human activity.

Earlier, the head of the judicial police, Almeida Rodrigues said that «everything points to natural causes». «We even found a tree that was struck by lightning. We found that the cause of the fire became dry storm,» he said.

In extinguishing the fire in Pedrogao Grande involved a 1.2 thousands of firefighters and over 400 pieces of equipment, five planes, on Wednesday arrived here 40 soldiers from Spain. About 95% of fire, or extinguished, or under control, however, remaining pockets are extremely strong. In the burned area of 30 thousand hectares of forest. In the municipality of Coimbra (Coimbra district), where the day before there was the most difficult situation, remain active two centers, the rest of the fire localized. Here we continue to operate 13 aircraft, 400 pieces of equipment and more than a thousand people.

Meanwhile the fire continues to spread into neighbouring areas. From the municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra (district of Coimbra) evacuated nine villages.

In addition to Leiria, Castelo Branco and Coimbra, where raging fires, an extremely high degree of risk of occurrence exists in 30 municipalities in 11 districts of the country.

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