Authorities in Portugal's Madeira Islands say three elderly people have died in their burned homes as a wildfire spread into the capital, Funchal.

The head of Madeira's regional government, Miguel Albuquerque, says the three died in two houses in the early hours of Wednesday. He says more than 300 people have required medical treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burns.

The blaze, fueled by hot weather and strong winds, forced the evacuation of around 1,000 local people and tourists in the islands off northwestern Africa. A five-star hotel also burned down.