Officials say a major forest fire in Portugal's Madeira Islands has destroyed at least six homes and forced the evacuation of more than 200 people.

Meanwhile, cooler overnight temperatures helped firefighters battle wildfires that have raged for several days on mainland Portugal.

Cable news channel S.I.C Noticias showed flames licking at homes around Madeira's capital Funchal on Tuesday as it encroached on the city's suburbs. Eight firefighters required medical treatment after inhaling smoke as high winds fueled the blaze in the island off northwest Africa. Patients were evacuated from a small hospital as a precaution.

The National Civil Protection Service said nine major wildfires were out of control in mainland Portugal. Almost 3,400 firefighters with 18 water-dumping planes and some 1,160 vehicles were in action.