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'Arsonists' are blamed for fires in Spain and Portugal

  • Authorities in Portugal said that at least 29 people died and dozens were injured by wildfires in the country
  • The government in Portugal declared a state of emergency for regions north of the Tajo river during the fires 
  • In the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, four people have died and thousands have been evacuated
  • Authorities in both countries said that the strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia have fanned the wildfires
  • Investigators in both countries have questioned if the fires were started by human and criminal causes

By Rita Sobot and Gerard Couzens for MailOnline

Published: 06:20 EDT, 16 October 2017 | Updated: 08:15 EDT, 16 October 2017

A man who drove through raging wildfires in Portugal says luck was on his side after he filmed himself escaping the deadly blazes ravaging the region.

Wildfires have killed at least 33 people across Portugal and Spain as hundreds of blazes were fanned by strong winds caused by a hurricane, authorities said on Monday.

At least 29 people in Portugal have died and dozens have been injured, most of them firefighters, during fires raging in central and northern areas of the country. A one-month-old baby is still unaccounted for. 

In the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, authorities said that four people had died, two of them trapped in a car, as a result of blazes that were threatening inhabited areas prompting the evacuation of thousands.

Authorities in both countries said that the strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean and high temperatures fanned the fires. 

Investigations were also focusing on human and criminal causes, with political leaders accusing 'terrorist arsonists' of starting the blazes.

Survivor Renato Teixeira, from Coimbra, posted a video of his near escape on the A17 motorway near Vagos, Portugal, on his Facebook page alongside the message: 'Today luck was on my side. I was dying.' 

Renato Teixeira, from Coimbra, Portugal, escaped blazes by driving through smoke and flames on the A17 motorway near Vagos
Renato Teixeira, from Coimbra, Portugal, escaped blazes by driving through smoke and flames on the A17 motorway near Vagos
At least 31 people have died in Spain and Portugal in the wildfires
At least 31 people have died in Spain and Portugal in the wildfires

Renato Teixeira, from Coimbra, Portugal, escaped blazes by driving through smoke and flames on the A17 motorway near Vagos. At least 33 people have died in Spain and Portugal in the wildfires

Teixeira posted video of his escape on his Facebook page alongside the message: 'Today luck was on my side. I was dying'
Teixeira posted video of his escape on his Facebook page alongside the message: 'Today luck was on my side. I was dying'
Other cars can been seen speeding ahead through smoke, sparks and blazes
Other cars can been seen speeding ahead through smoke, sparks and blazes

Teixeira posted video of his escape on his Facebook page alongside the message: 'Today luck was on my side. I was dying.' Other cars can been seen speeding ahead through smoke, sparks and blazes

Residents looks to the fire in Praia da Vieira, Marinha Grande, Portugal, on Sunday. Civil Protection authorities in Portugal said that 29 people died and dozens were injured, most of them firefighters, during fires raging in central and northern areas of the country
Residents looks to the fire in Praia da Vieira, Marinha Grande, Portugal, on Sunday. Civil Protection authorities in Portugal said that 29 people died and dozens were injured, most of them firefighters, during fires raging in central and northern areas of the country

Residents looks to the fire in Praia da Vieira, Marinha Grande, Portugal, on Sunday. Civil Protection authorities in Portugal said that 29 people died and dozens were injured, most of them firefighters, during fires raging in central and northern areas of the country

Renato could be heard shouting 'How hot it is' as he filmed burning toll booths on the smoke-filled motorway from a dashboard camera.

He attempted to stay calm despite the obvious danger surrounding him as sparks flew across the road from the flames just feet away and he shouted to himself: 'Don't stop, don't stop'.

The intense heat from the encroaching fire made him groan with agony as he tried to keep his hands on the wheel and he could be heard trying to control his breathing so he could tackle the stress he felt.

Rescue team worker Helio Madeiras posted a stunning picture on his Facebook showing a huge forest fire in Vieira de Leiria.

The government in Portugal declared a state of emergency for regions north of the Tajo river after Sunday was described as 'the worst day of the year in terms of forest fires' by Civil Protection spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar.

In Spain, more than 500 military personnel and 350 brigades are fighting the fires.

In the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, authorities said that four people had died, two of them trapped in a car, as a result of blazes that were threatening inhabited areas prompting the evacuation of thousands. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in the village of Adica in Tondela, Center of Portugal
In the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, authorities said that four people had died, two of them trapped in a car, as a result of blazes that were threatening inhabited areas prompting the evacuation of thousands. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in the village of Adica in Tondela, Center of Portugal

In the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, authorities said that four people had died, two of them trapped in a car, as a result of blazes that were threatening inhabited areas prompting the evacuation of thousands. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in the village of Adica in Tondela, Center of Portugal

Authorities in both countries said that the strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean and high temperatures fanned the fires. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal
Authorities in both countries said that the strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean and high temperatures fanned the fires. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal

Authorities in both countries said that the strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean and high temperatures fanned the fires. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal

Men gather cattle during a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, Portugal, early Monday morning as fires ravaged the region
Men gather cattle during a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, Portugal, early Monday morning as fires ravaged the region

Men gather cattle during a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, Portugal, early Monday morning as fires ravaged the region

Firefighters fight with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal, on Monday. 6,000 firemen supported by 1,800 land vehicles are fighting this morning with several wildfires all over the country
Firefighters fight with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal, on Monday. 6,000 firemen supported by 1,800 land vehicles are fighting this morning with several wildfires all over the country

Firefighters fight with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal, on Monday. 6,000 firemen supported by 1,800 land vehicles are fighting this morning with several wildfires all over the country

The government in Portugal declared a state of emergency for regions north of the Tajo river on Sunday. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal
The government in Portugal declared a state of emergency for regions north of the Tajo river on Sunday. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal

The government in Portugal declared a state of emergency for regions north of the Tajo river on Sunday. Pictured above, a man fights with a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, center of Portugal

Among the dead in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia are a 19-year-old pregnant woman, who was killed as she hit another car while trying flee the flames.

In Portugal, two people died when they became trapped in their van in Chandebrito, in the municipality of Pontevedra Nigrán, and a 67-year-old man in Carballeda de Avia (Ourense) died when he tried to extinguish the flames that surrounded his house.

Gaspar said deaths occurred in the districts of Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Viseu and Guarda. In addition to the dead, 51 people have been injured, including 15 in serious condition, Gaspar said. She also said that an unknown number of people were still missing.

Houses, factories and other infrastructure had been destroyed in more than 440 forest fires, 33 of them considered to be major. 

The fires prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people. The fatalities in Spain were reported in the districts of Coimbra, Castelo Branco and Viseu.

The weekend fires come only three months after a wildfire in Portugal killed 64 people in Pedrogao Grande in early summer - 47 of them on one road while trying to flee the flames in cars.

An independent investigation into the June fires found last week that authorities failed to evacuate villages on time. The fire destroyed about 29,000 hectares, (nearly 72,000 acres). 

Police cars block the area as emergency vehicles responded to a wild fire in As Neves, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday
Police cars block the area as emergency vehicles responded to a wild fire in As Neves, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

Police cars block the area as emergency vehicles responded to a wild fire in As Neves, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

Portugal's fires were described as 'the worst day of the year in terms of forest fires' by Civil Protection spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar
Portugal's fires were described as 'the worst day of the year in terms of forest fires' by Civil Protection spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar

Portugal's fires were described as 'the worst day of the year in terms of forest fires' by Civil Protection spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar

In Portugal, two people died when they became trapped in their van in Chandebrito, in the municipality of Pontevedra Nigrán. Pictured above, a woman combats a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, Portugal, on Monday
In Portugal, two people died when they became trapped in their van in Chandebrito, in the municipality of Pontevedra Nigrán. Pictured above, a woman combats a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, Portugal, on Monday

In Portugal, two people died when they became trapped in their van in Chandebrito, in the municipality of Pontevedra Nigrán. Pictured above, a woman combats a forest fire in Vieira de Leiria, Marinha Grande, Portugal, on Monday

Houses, factories and other infrastructure had been destroyed in more than 440 forest fires, 33 of them considered to be major
Houses, factories and other infrastructure had been destroyed in more than 440 forest fires, 33 of them considered to be major

Houses, factories and other infrastructure had been destroyed in more than 440 forest fires, 33 of them considered to be major

The fire prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people. The fatalities in Spain were reported in the districts of Coimbra, Castelo Branco and Viseu. Pictured above, a wild fire burnt a forrest near Gondomar, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain
The fire prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people. The fatalities in Spain were reported in the districts of Coimbra, Castelo Branco and Viseu. Pictured above, a wild fire burnt a forrest near Gondomar, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain

The fire prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people. The fatalities in Spain were reported in the districts of Coimbra, Castelo Branco and Viseu. Pictured above, a wild fire burnt a forrest near Gondomar, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain

A woman carries her dog as she evacuates a forest fire in Vila Nova de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday during a weekend of fierce wildfires
A woman carries her dog as she evacuates a forest fire in Vila Nova de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday during a weekend of fierce wildfires

A woman carries her dog as she evacuates a forest fire in Vila Nova de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday during a weekend of fierce wildfires

The weekend fires come only three months after a wildfire in Portugal killed 64 people in Pedrogao Grande in early summer - 47 of them on one road while trying to flee the flames in cars.
The weekend fires come only three months after a wildfire in Portugal killed 64 people in Pedrogao Grande in early summer - 47 of them on one road while trying to flee the flames in cars.

The weekend fires come only three months after a wildfire in Portugal killed 64 people in Pedrogao Grande in early summer - 47 of them on one road while trying to flee the flames in cars.

In the recent weekend fires, thousands of acres of land in Spain have been calcined and schools in Vigo and Pontevedra, as well as the University of Vigo, have suspended classes
In the recent weekend fires, thousands of acres of land in Spain have been calcined and schools in Vigo and Pontevedra, as well as the University of Vigo, have suspended classes

In the recent weekend fires, thousands of acres of land in Spain have been calcined and schools in Vigo and Pontevedra, as well as the University of Vigo, have suspended classes

At least 17 fires were close to inhabited areas, many of them in the Vigo province of Spain, leading to emergency services and police to evacuate thousands, the regional government's environmental department said
At least 17 fires were close to inhabited areas, many of them in the Vigo province of Spain, leading to emergency services and police to evacuate thousands, the regional government's environmental department said

At least 17 fires were close to inhabited areas, many of them in the Vigo province of Spain, leading to emergency services and police to evacuate thousands, the regional government's environmental department said

In the recent weekend fires, thousands of acres of land in Spain have been calcined and schools in Vigo and Pontevedra, as well as the University of Vigo, have suspended classes. 

At least 17 fires were close to inhabited areas, many of them in the Vigo province of Spain, leading to emergency services and police to evacuate thousands, the regional government's environmental department said.

About 1,000 workers in a factory in Vigo were evacuated, together with other warehouses, and the flames have come dangerously close to closely populated areas. 

Residents wearing masks came out of their homes with buckets to try and quench the flames.

President of the local government Alberto Núñez Feijoo said that arsonists are almost certainly to blame as 25 new fires were started in the early hours of Monday.

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.   

He said that those responsible have taken advantage of the weather conditions, high winds and drought, to start them and cause more havoc.

Residents leave their houses as a wild fire moves forward in Chandebrito, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday
Residents leave their houses as a wild fire moves forward in Chandebrito, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

Residents leave their houses as a wild fire moves forward in Chandebrito, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

Residents walk past a burnt bus as a wild fire moves forward in Chandebrito, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday
Residents walk past a burnt bus as a wild fire moves forward in Chandebrito, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

Residents walk past a burnt bus as a wild fire moves forward in Chandebrito, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

Two women walk next the remains of a burned coach in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain. It is unclear if people were on the bus when it caught fire
Two women walk next the remains of a burned coach in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain. It is unclear if people were on the bus when it caught fire

Two women walk next the remains of a burned coach in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain. It is unclear if people were on the bus when it caught fire

A man wearing a face mask to combat smoke inhalation examines a burned pavilion full of cars  in Cruzamento de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday
A man wearing a face mask to combat smoke inhalation examines a burned pavilion full of cars  in Cruzamento de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday

A man wearing a face mask to combat smoke inhalation examines a burned pavilion full of cars  in Cruzamento de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday

woman covers her face to protect herself from the smoke as fire burns land in As Neves, Galicia, Spain, on Monday. Four people have died as several forest fires are still active in Galicia burning more than 4,000 hectares, and they are aggravated with high temperatures and drought
woman covers her face to protect herself from the smoke as fire burns land in As Neves, Galicia, Spain, on Monday. Four people have died as several forest fires are still active in Galicia burning more than 4,000 hectares, and they are aggravated with high temperatures and drought

woman covers her face to protect herself from the smoke as fire burns land in As Neves, Galicia, Spain, on Monday. Four people have died as several forest fires are still active in Galicia burning more than 4,000 hectares, and they are aggravated with high temperatures and drought

Residents hold their pets as a wild fire moves forward their houses in As Neves, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday
Residents hold their pets as a wild fire moves forward their houses in As Neves, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

Residents hold their pets as a wild fire moves forward their houses in As Neves, Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

A car is seen burnt after a wild fire in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain. Authorities in Portugal and Spain say that 33 people died over the weekend in hundreds of wildfires fanned by strong winds caused by a hurricane
A car is seen burnt after a wild fire in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain. Authorities in Portugal and Spain say that 33 people died over the weekend in hundreds of wildfires fanned by strong winds caused by a hurricane

A car is seen burnt after a wild fire in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain. Authorities in Portugal and Spain say that 33 people died over the weekend in hundreds of wildfires fanned by strong winds caused by a hurricane

A burned area of forest next to a highway is seen after a wild fire in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday
A burned area of forest next to a highway is seen after a wild fire in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

A burned area of forest next to a highway is seen after a wild fire in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, Spain on Monday

4 People move their horses as a forest fire burns near homes in Chandebrito village, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain, on Sunday
4 People move their horses as a forest fire burns near homes in Chandebrito village, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain, on Sunday

4 People move their horses as a forest fire burns near homes in Chandebrito village, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain, on Sunday

He has described those responsible as 'terrorist arsonists', and warned: 'They are playing with lives.' 

A number of people are said to be 'under suspicion' but no arrests have yet been made. 

Feijoo said that 15 fires are posing a risk to towns. He added that 90 percent of forest fires each year in Galicia are intentional.

He told reporters: 'All of Galicia is weeping this morning for our razed hills, but especially for the loss of human lives.'  

Spanish Prime Minister Marian Rajoy, who is from Galicia, traveled to the region Monday to visit an emergency response center. 

In Portugal, 12 of the 38 people being treated for burns at Viseu Hospital were described as 'serious.'

Two people in Penacova near the university city of Coimbra and two in Oliveira do Hospital a 45-minute drive east were also said to be among the dead.

Passengers on a coach covering the route between Viseu and Coimbra told of their brush with death after being surrounded by flames and having to abandon the vehicle near Penacova with the help of firefighters.

Ema Fonseca, a university student who was returning to Coimbra for lessons, said: 'The coach was full with some 48 people on board.

'Suddenly everything went black and a few miles afterwards all we saw were flames. The heat inside the coach was unbearable. We began to shout and the coach began to shake. I thought I was going to die.' 

A firefighter kneels on the ground during a fire in Vila Nova de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday while taking a break from fighting hundreds of fires in the region
A firefighter kneels on the ground during a fire in Vila Nova de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday while taking a break from fighting hundreds of fires in the region

A firefighter kneels on the ground during a fire in Vila Nova de Poiares, Lousa, Portugal, on Sunday while taking a break from fighting hundreds of fires in the region

People carry a hose to help in hopes of helping put out flames from wildfires ravaging Vigo, northwestern Spain, on Sunday 
People carry a hose to help in hopes of helping put out flames from wildfires ravaging Vigo, northwestern Spain, on Sunday 

People carry a hose to help in hopes of helping put out flames from wildfires ravaging Vigo, northwestern Spain, on Sunday 

People carry buckets to help fighting a wildfire in Vigo, northwestern Spain on Sunday. Hundreds of firefighters struggled on October 15, 2017 to contain 17 separate wildfires in northwestern Spanish region of Galicia
People carry buckets to help fighting a wildfire in Vigo, northwestern Spain on Sunday. Hundreds of firefighters struggled on October 15, 2017 to contain 17 separate wildfires in northwestern Spanish region of Galicia

People carry buckets to help fighting a wildfire in Vigo, northwestern Spain on Sunday. Hundreds of firefighters struggled on October 15, 2017 to contain 17 separate wildfires in northwestern Spanish region of Galicia

Two people who died in Spain during the fires had become trapped by flames in their vehicle near the town of Nigran as they tried to flee, and disrupted road and rail travel, authorities said
Two people who died in Spain during the fires had become trapped by flames in their vehicle near the town of Nigran as they tried to flee, and disrupted road and rail travel, authorities said

Two people who died in Spain during the fires had become trapped by flames in their vehicle near the town of Nigran as they tried to flee, and disrupted road and rail travel, authorities said

People form a human chain to carry buckets of water to help fighting a wildfire in Vigo, northwestern Spain, on Sunday
People form a human chain to carry buckets of water to help fighting a wildfire in Vigo, northwestern Spain, on Sunday

People form a human chain to carry buckets of water to help fighting a wildfire in Vigo, northwestern Spain, on Sunday

Residents help firefighters to extinguish a forest fire that threatens to reach their houses in Vigo, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning
Residents help firefighters to extinguish a forest fire that threatens to reach their houses in Vigo, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning

Residents help firefighters to extinguish a forest fire that threatens to reach their houses in Vigo, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning

Twenty-five roads in the north and centre of Portugal remained closed to traffic on Monday because of the fires.

Portugal's Secretary of State of Internal Administration Jorge Gomes appealed for international help to combat the wildfires, which are being tackled by nearly 6,000 people using more than 1,780 vehicles.

Some of the fires in Portugal have crossed the Spanish border into Galicia, and thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.

Galician President Alberto Nunez Feijoo described the situation as 'critical', although light rain was aiding things following perfect conditions for the wildfires of strong winds brought in by the tail-end of Hurricane Ophelia and high temperatures after a period of drought.

He also pointed the finger at arsonists he said had started many of the fires.

Claiming firefighters had been tackling 'homicide incendiary activity' in the worst possible weather conditions, the Galician leader said: 'We are dealing with deliberately-started fires by people who know what to burn, how to burn it and the places to pick.'

Twenty-five roads in the north and centre of Portugal remained closed to traffic on Monday because of the fires. Pictured above, firefighters work to extinguish a fire in Foz do Arelho, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal
Twenty-five roads in the north and centre of Portugal remained closed to traffic on Monday because of the fires. Pictured above, firefighters work to extinguish a fire in Foz do Arelho, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal

Twenty-five roads in the north and centre of Portugal remained closed to traffic on Monday because of the fires. Pictured above, firefighters work to extinguish a fire in Foz do Arelho, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal

Portugal's Secretary of State of Internal Administration Jorge Gomes appealed for international help to combat the wildfires, which are being tackled by nearly 6,000 people using more than 1,780 vehicles
Portugal's Secretary of State of Internal Administration Jorge Gomes appealed for international help to combat the wildfires, which are being tackled by nearly 6,000 people using more than 1,780 vehicles

Portugal's Secretary of State of Internal Administration Jorge Gomes appealed for international help to combat the wildfires, which are being tackled by nearly 6,000 people using more than 1,780 vehicles

About 1,000 workers in a factory in Vigo were evacuated, together with other warehouses, and the flames have come dangerously close to closely populated areas. Pictured above, fires in nearby Portugal
About 1,000 workers in a factory in Vigo were evacuated, together with other warehouses, and the flames have come dangerously close to closely populated areas. Pictured above, fires in nearby Portugal

About 1,000 workers in a factory in Vigo were evacuated, together with other warehouses, and the flames have come dangerously close to closely populated areas. Pictured above, fires in nearby Portugal

Residents across Spain and Portugal have worn masks while evacuating their homes in hopes of avoiding the inhalation of smoke. Pictured above, a firefighter and a burning house in Ponte da Mocela village, Lousa, Portugal on Sunday
Residents across Spain and Portugal have worn masks while evacuating their homes in hopes of avoiding the inhalation of smoke. Pictured above, a firefighter and a burning house in Ponte da Mocela village, Lousa, Portugal on Sunday

Residents across Spain and Portugal have worn masks while evacuating their homes in hopes of avoiding the inhalation of smoke. Pictured above, a firefighter and a burning house in Ponte da Mocela village, Lousa, Portugal on Sunday

In Vigo, northwestern Spain, one man was seen removing his shirt and using it to subdue wildfires as the blazes ravaged the region
In Vigo, northwestern Spain, one man was seen removing his shirt and using it to subdue wildfires as the blazes ravaged the region

In Vigo, northwestern Spain, one man was seen removing his shirt and using it to subdue wildfires as the blazes ravaged the region

President of the Galicia government, Alberto Núñez Feijoo,  said that arsonists are almost certainly to blame as 25 new fires were started in the early hours of Monday. Pictured above, a fire in Galicia
President of the Galicia government, Alberto Núñez Feijoo,  said that arsonists are almost certainly to blame as 25 new fires were started in the early hours of Monday. Pictured above, a fire in Galicia

President of the Galicia government, Alberto Núñez Feijoo,  said that arsonists are almost certainly to blame as 25 new fires were started in the early hours of Monday. Pictured above, a fire in Galicia

esidents help firefighters to extinguish a forest fire that threatens to reach their houses in Nigran, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning
esidents help firefighters to extinguish a forest fire that threatens to reach their houses in Nigran, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning

esidents help firefighters to extinguish a forest fire that threatens to reach their houses in Nigran, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning

A resident runs past a forest fire in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal, on Monday. The National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) said that today "was the worst day of the year in terms of fires," having exceeded 300 forest fires
A resident runs past a forest fire in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal, on Monday. The National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) said that today "was the worst day of the year in terms of fires," having exceeded 300 forest fires

A resident runs past a forest fire in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal, on Monday. The National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) said that today 'was the worst day of the year in terms of fires,' having exceeded 300 forest fires

Distressing footage show panicked locals driving along smoke-filled roads with walls of flames either side.

In the coastal resort town of Baiona in southern Galicia, people were filmed abandoning their homes as they were surrounded by fire.

Between Friday and Sunday afternoon, 146 fires were recorded in Galicia, with 60 recorded on Sunday and 28 in the early hours of Monday, between midnight and ten in the morning.

At dawn on Monday morning, 105 fires were still active, according to the authorities, but more have been started.

Portuguese PM Antonio Costa reacted to the new tragedy by declaring a state of national calamity north of the Tagus to ensure the mobilisation of more firefighters to tackle the blazes.

Predicting a very difficult day and saying the number of people who were injured and unaccounted meant he couldn't rule out more deaths, he added: 'Situations like this are likely to repeat themselves. There are no magic solutions.'

Between Friday and Sunday afternoon, 146 fires were recorded in Galicia, with 60 recorded on Sunday and 28 in the early hours of Monday, between midnight and ten in the morning. Pictured above, a fire threatens a small chapel in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal
Between Friday and Sunday afternoon, 146 fires were recorded in Galicia, with 60 recorded on Sunday and 28 in the early hours of Monday, between midnight and ten in the morning. Pictured above, a fire threatens a small chapel in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal

Between Friday and Sunday afternoon, 146 fires were recorded in Galicia, with 60 recorded on Sunday and 28 in the early hours of Monday, between midnight and ten in the morning. Pictured above, a fire threatens a small chapel in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal

At dawn on Monday morning, 105 fires were still active in Galicia, according to the authorities, but more have been started. Pictured above, a house burns in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal over the weekend
At dawn on Monday morning, 105 fires were still active in Galicia, according to the authorities, but more have been started. Pictured above, a house burns in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal over the weekend

At dawn on Monday morning, 105 fires were still active in Galicia, according to the authorities, but more have been started. Pictured above, a house burns in Moinhos village, Lousa, Portugal over the weekend

Smoke rises from a forest fire close to a house in Nigran, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning as several forest fires slammed the region
Smoke rises from a forest fire close to a house in Nigran, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning as several forest fires slammed the region

Smoke rises from a forest fire close to a house in Nigran, Galicia, Spain, early Monday morning as several forest fires slammed the region

Firefighters try to extinguish a forest fire close to the village of Constante, in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Several forest fires are active in Galicia burning more than 4,000 hectares, and they are aggravated with high temperatures and drought
Firefighters try to extinguish a forest fire close to the village of Constante, in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Several forest fires are active in Galicia burning more than 4,000 hectares, and they are aggravated with high temperatures and drought

Firefighters try to extinguish a forest fire close to the village of Constante, in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Several forest fires are active in Galicia burning more than 4,000 hectares, and they are aggravated with high temperatures and drought

A man looks at a burnt warehouse, in Chandebrito, Galicia, Spain. Around 5,000 people have been working to contain the fires in Galicia, in the northwest of Spain
A man looks at a burnt warehouse, in Chandebrito, Galicia, Spain. Around 5,000 people have been working to contain the fires in Galicia, in the northwest of Spain

A man looks at a burnt warehouse, in Chandebrito, Galicia, Spain. Around 5,000 people have been working to contain the fires in Galicia, in the northwest of Spain

 


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