39 dead as wildfires hit Portugal and Spain

39 dead as wildfires hit Portugal and Spain

39 dead as wildfires hit Portugal and Spain

A third person was on Monday confirmed to have died in Carbelleda de Avia, close to Oursense, a city in northwestern Spain, in a series of wildfires which have caused widespread destruction in the Spanish Autonomous Community of Galicia since Friday. But cooler, wetter weather is approaching, which may give some respite to firefighters tackling the blazes.

Portugal has been hit especially hard by wildfires this year, with 64 people dying in one fire in June that destroyed around 29,000 hectares (72,000 acres).

She said 56 people were injured, 16 seriously, and nine were reported missing in the blazes that broke out over the weekend.

Three people died in Spain's Galicia region - two of them women found inside a burnt-out auto, the third a man in his 70s, killed as he tried to save his farm animals.

Even before the latest blazes, almost 216,000 hectares (530,000 acres) had been consumed by wildfires across the country between January and September, according to estimates from the country's forest service.

The city of around 300,000 residents has opened up two sports centres and booked rooms in three hotels for people who had to evacuate their homes.

Three people have been reported dead in Spain; two victims were found in a burned-out vehicle on the side of the road.

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According to Galician leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo, he has claimed that the fires were deliberately set by arsonists, in what he called "terrorist acts".

He said "Galicia is fed up" with being attacked by arsonists who make the most of weather conditions, adding that some purposely tried to cause most damage by targeting urban areas.

Feijoo says 15 of the fires are posing a risk to towns.

"We are still searching burnt areas to see if there are any more victims", Gaspar told The Associated Press.

In Portugal, Prime Minister Antonio Costa declared a state of emergency as more than 4,000 firefighters fought some 20 major fires still raging on Monday. Images broadcast on Spanish TV showed local residents, their mouths and noses covered with handkerchiefs, trying to contain the flames with buckets and pans of water.

Light rainfall early Monday is expected to help extinguish the flames.

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