PORTUGAL – The full extent of the damage caused by a forest fire that ravaged parts of Portugal was clearly visible on Monday (June 19) as the Spanish airforce released video filmed from a firefighting plane that has been used to dump thousands of litres of water over the area. A drone video also shows the devastating aftermath (watch below) of the wildfire, a tragedy that is close to South Africans’ hearts after experiencing the recent wildfires that spread through the Knysna and Plettenberg Bay regions.
The Spanish firefighter video = filmed on Sunday (June 18) – showed a vast blackened area of fire-damaged terrain.
In some areas smoke cover has not allowed firefighting planes and helicopters to fly, but a light rain has helped firefighters try and regain control in other parts of the Pedrogao Grande area that has been ravaged by fire.
Spanish airforce sent two Canadair firefighting planes to Pedrogao Grande to help battle the wildfire.
At least 62 people are believed to have died in the forest fire, most of them dying in their cars as they tried to flee. Portugal’s prime minister has said the death toll could rise as firefighters inspected charred remains of some buildings in remote villages.
Police said a lightning strike on a tree probably caused the blaze on Saturday (June 17) in the mountainous region about 200 km (125 miles) northeast of Lisbon.