Sign up for the NEWS newsletter
You have been successfully added to our newsletter.
Let our news meet your inbox
Portugal Mourns Following Wildfire Tragedy
A forest fire raging since Saturday in central Portugal has killed at least 61 people, most dying in their cars while trying to flee.
Anabela Silva stands in front of her house with her burnt car in the background after a wildfire swept through Figueiro dos Vinhos on June 18, 2017.
Portugal declared three days of national mourning on Sunday as Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa called the disaster "the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years."
The wildfire raged across central Portugal, with authorities saying 61 have been killed so far and 59 more injured. Most of those killed burned to death in their cars, the government said on June 18, after the flames swept over the road faster than they could escape. Several hundred firefighters and 160 vehicles were dispatched late on June 17 to tackle the blaze, which broke out in the afternoon in the municipality of Pedrogao Grande, Leiria District, Center of Portugal, before spreading fast across several fronts.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Sunday evening that the death toll is likely to continue to rise as rescue officers search seared land for victims.