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In the News

61 dead in Portuguese forest fires

Joanne Parkinson

19th June 2017

Portugal is in a state of mourning over the forest fires in the central area of Portugal known as Pedrógão Grande.

The fires started on Saturday due to an intense heatwave with temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit measured in some central areas.  Reports of rainless thunderstorms are suggesting that a lightning strike is the likely cause of the fire.

A total of 156 separate fire incidents have been reported and that has been difficult for firefighters to handle.  They have focused their efforts on the 5 largest fires in the hope of saving lives.  Unfortunately, the fires spread that quickly that many people who were trying to flee their homes, lost their lives.  47 people were found either in or on the road next to their cars on the IC8 motorway as they tried to escape; showing how rapidly these fires spread.

As hotter, drier conditions continue to embrace many European countries, concerns are rising for further incidents in the coming months.  Check out the report on for more information.

Joanne Parkinson

An experienced, outstanding Geography teacher, GCSE examiner and Head of Humanities in a 11-18 school. I'm passionate about all geographical events and am a keen blogger.

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