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Portugal thanks Spain for 'swift response' to fire help appeal
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Jul 24, 2019
PORTUGUESE authorities have confirmed the massive wildfire in the centre of the country is now under control and has thanked Spain for its prompt help in sending equipment.
Five infernos broke out within an hour, three of them huge, on Saturday in the Vila de Rei district, mostly in and around Castelo Branco and Mação, leaving 41 people needing medical assistance.
Of these, 17 were injured, one of them seriously.
After a 70-hour battle with the flames, over 8,500 hectares (21,000 acres) of countryside, woodland and mountain landscape has been wiped out.
Minister of internal administration Eduardo Cabrita said he had thanked Spain's interior ministry for their swift response after calling on the neighbouring country for help on Monday afternoon.
“Two hours after [asking for assistance], there was a pair of fire-fighting planes already on site working,” Cabrita revealed.
Spain also sent planes in June 2017 to help battle the worst inferno in Portuguese history, which killed 61 people in the centre of the country, of whom 30 had become trapped in their cars by a wall of flames when attempting to escape.
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