Forest fires rage in the Algarve

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Forest fires rage in the AlgarveAFP/Getty


Portuguese firefighters are battling to contain four huge forest fires that have broken out in the Algarve and Madeira, in areas that are popular with tourists.

The Sunday Times reports that almost 400 firefighters, with eight aircraft and more than 120 fire engines, have been deployed to Tavira, 20 miles east of Faro, to fight the blazes.

The Institute of Meteorology has declared that 23 districts of mainland Portugal are now at "maximum risk" of fire.

According to the BBC, fires in Camacha and Santa Cruz on Madeira are putting homes at risk but, fortunately, there have not been any reports of casualties.

This is likely to be because dozens of people have abandoned their homes on Madeira since the fires began spreading on Wednesday.

Portugal has been suffering from a heatwave and prolonged drought and high winds are making it particularly difficult to contain the fires.

However, a tour operator on Madeira told the BBC on Friday that hotels, golf courses and other leisure facilities are unaffected and still open to tourists.

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