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Great fire in central Portugal brought under control, two fires in Spain curbed

"The fire is under control, but it is not extinguished.

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Great fire in central Portugal brought under control, two fires in Spain curbed

"The fire is under control, but it is not extinguished. There is a whole consolidation work that will continue in the coming days," Portuguese civil protection commander Miguel Oliveira told TSF radio on Wednesday evening.

"It is always possible and very likely that there will be new reactivations, but we hope that they do not take on worrying proportions," he said.

Nearly a thousand firefighters were still mobilized Thursday morning on the ground, according to information from the National Civil Protection Authority.

After being brought under control for the first time last week, the fire flared up again on Monday, fanned by strong winds.

This blaze, which broke out on August 6 in the heart of this natural park recognized by Unesco, is the most important this summer in Portugal.

It set some 25,000 hectares of forest in this mountain range up in smoke, culminating at around 2,000 meters, according to still provisional estimates.

Portugal, which is experiencing an exceptional drought this year, expects a new heat wave from Saturday. The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) predicts a gradual rise in temperatures until September which should be "warmer and drier" than normal.

Since the start of the year, some 92,000 hectares have gone up in smoke there, the largest area since the deadly fires of 2017 which killed around 100 people, according to the latest report from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature. nature and forests.

In Spain, the arrival of the rain and, with it, the drop in temperatures, considerably slowed down two major fires which hit the region of Valencia (southeast), welcomed the authorities and the rescue services on Thursday.

"Finally, good news: the rain and the drop in temperatures have made it possible to contain the fire in the Vall d'Ebo", tweeted on Wednesday evening the president of the Valencia region, Ximo Puig.

"Last night, the Bejis fire evolved positively with the drop in temperatures and the precipitation (...), we have few visible flames", he commented again on Thursday morning on Cadena Ser radio, hoping that Thursday "be the decisive day to put an end to these fires".

The region's emergency services, 112, also confirmed that the showers which saw "between 14 and 20 mm of rain fall reduced the flames until they almost disappeared around the entire perimeter".

Between them, the blazes of Bejis and Vall d'Ebo ravaged nearly 25,000 hectares, and forced the evacuation of some 3,000 people.

According to scientists, global warming increases the likelihood of heat waves as well as droughts and, in turn, fires.

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