Portugal exits state of emergency due to wildfires but remains on alert

The Portuguese government has declared the end of the state of “contingency” for fires from next midnight but the authorities will maintain the alert for the possibility of new outbreaks, as announced by the Minister of the Interior, José Luís Carneiro.

The response level will be reevaluated on Tuesday, at the end of the day, to decide whether to maintain the alert situation or a new contingency situation.

The minister justified in a press conference picked up by ‘Publico’ the drop in the response level by the upcoming decrease in temperatures from 2 to 8 degrees and the increase in humidity.

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For his part, the national commander of Emergency and Civil Protection, André Fernandes, has reported that, since July 7, the fires forced the evacuation of 939 people from their homes. The safety conditions have already allowed “most of them to return to their homes”.

Right now there are four active outbreaks in the country, in particular the fires in Bustelo (Chaves) and Baião. The first one involves 201 firefighters, 60 vehicles and three airplanes while the one unleashed in the last hours in Baião is being fought by 86 operators, assisted by 22 vehicles and two airplanes.

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Portugal has not yet officially reported figures of fatalities beyond the death on Friday of pilot-commander André Serra in the northwest of the country while fighting the fires, in addition to four seriously injured, 97 slightly injured and 95 people assisted.

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