Europe

Thousands of firefighters battle forest blazes in Portugal

  • In this image made from video on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, a forest fire rages in La Palma on the Canary Islands, Spain. Spanish authorities have evacuated 500 more residents in the path of a five-day-old forest fire on the Atlantic island of La Palma. The regional government for the Canary Islands archipelago says the evacuation of two neighborhoods in the town of Villa de Mazo took place Sunday morning shortly after midnight as the fire spread through the hilly terrain. (Wikono via AP)

    In this image made from video on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, a forest fire rages in La Palma on the Canary Islands, Spain. Spanish authorities have evacuated 500 more residents in the path of a five-day-old forest fire on the Atlantic island of La Palma. The regional government for the Canary Islands archipelago says the evacuation of two neighborhoods in the town of Villa de Mazo took place Sunday morning shortly after midnight as the fire spread through the hilly terrain. (Wikono via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image made from video on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, a forest fire rages in La Palma on the Canary Islands, Spain. Spanish authorities have evacuated 500 more residents in the path of a five-day-old forest fire on the Atlantic island of La Palma. The regional government for the Canary Islands archipelago says the evacuation of two neighborhoods in the town of Villa de Mazo took place Sunday morning shortly after midnight as the fire spread through the hilly terrain. (Wikono via AP)

    In this image made from video on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, a forest fire rages in La Palma on the Canary Islands, Spain. Spanish authorities have evacuated 500 more residents in the path of a five-day-old forest fire on the Atlantic island of La Palma. The regional government for the Canary Islands archipelago says the evacuation of two neighborhoods in the town of Villa de Mazo took place Sunday morning shortly after midnight as the fire spread through the hilly terrain. (Wikono via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Portuguese authorities say around 3,000 firefighters are trying to put out hundreds of forest blazes of varying sizes across the country.

The National Civil Protection Authority said on its website Monday that 1,060 vehicles and 16 water-dumping aircraft are deployed at 515 wildfires, some of which have been burning for days.

It classified five wildfires in the north of the country as major blazes that are out of control.

The fires spread quickly through mostly pine and eucalyptus forests that are tinder-dry after weeks without significant rain. Daytime temperatures in recent days have exceeded 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

Forest fires commonly occur in Portugal, and elsewhere in southern Europe, in the summer. Portuguese firefighters blame poor forest management for the destruction of large areas of woodland each year.