A massive Forest Fire claimed sixty-two lives and more than fifty people were injured in the forested region of Pedrógão Grande, which is about 200 km away from the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Four amongst the dead were minors and thirty bodies were recovered from cars when the victims were attempting to flee the wildfires in their vehicles. Another seventeen bodies were found outside the cars on the road leading to the IC8 motorway. Eleven people died in the village adjacent to the motorway.

Most of the people were choked by the poisonous smoke and burnt alive by the wildfire.

Two people were killed in a road accident during the fires. The list of casualties may grow further as hundreds of people are still missing. The mountainous area was the worst affected zone and the aftermath has left the entire country in a state of shock. Few of the hundreds of firefighters were also injured while tackling the fire.

Few updates on the wildfire

  • The fire is believed to have spread from a lightening streak that happened on Saturday during a rainless thunderstorm and severe heat wave. The temperatures rose to 40C (104F) in few areas that lead to fast spreading of the fires.
  • It spread fast and the firefighters were battling 156 fires across the country on Sunday.
  • As per the reports, there were eleven active fires remaining but the authorities were most concerned with the two fires that caused the most casualties.
  • Approximately 1600 firefighters are still fighting the five main fires.
  • About 400 fire engines and 18 aircraft are being used to tackle the fire.
  • Two army battalions have also been sent to take care of the emergency.
  • Three days national mourning was declared on the occasion that ends on Tuesday.
  • The Prime Minister Antonio Costa called this incident as “the greatest tragedy” in recent times.

Aids from the neighboring countries

The neighboring countries have expressed their deepest condolences towards the ill-fated and have offered all possible help to fight the tragedy.

France has offered three firefighting planes to fight the situation. Spain has sent two water-bombing planes to help in tackling the fires. Firefighting aircraft has also been promised by the European Union.

The tragedy that left everyone astounded

Forest Fires are quite common in this part of the world. However, the severity of this incident has left everyone stunned.

The loss in terms of property and human life has been enormous and cannot be compared to any of the forest fires in the recent times. As per the authorities and the local residents, the entire region is completely destroyed by the fire and it will take several months or even years to get things back to normal again.