Major Portuguese wildfire close to end, officials say

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese authorities said Tuesday they are close to bringing under control a major wildfire, with just a handful of hot spots being targeted by water-dropping aircraft.

Just over 1,000 fighters, more than 330 vehicles and eight aircraft were attending the blaze in thick woodland in central Portugal, some 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Lisbon.

Civil Protection Agency commander Luis Belo Costa said conditions were “very favorable.”

He told a news conference that around 90% of the fire’s perimeter, stretching some 60 kilometers (37 miles), is under control.

Five firefighters suffered burns in the fire’s initial stages Sunday as their vehicle was caught in the flames.

Large wildfires break out each year in Portugal, with poor forest management blamed for repeated outbreaks. Two major blazes killed 106 people in 2017.

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