Europe

3 dead in Madeira Islands as wildfire spreads into capital

  • A forest fire rages near houses in Curral dos Romeiros, on the outskirts of Funchal, the capital of the Madeira island, Portugal Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016. Flames from forest fires licked at homes around Funchal, casting a smoke plume over the downtown and forcing the evacuation of more than 400 people. (AP Photo/Helder Santos)

    A forest fire rages near houses in Curral dos Romeiros, on the outskirts of Funchal, the capital of the Madeira island, Portugal Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016. Flames from forest fires licked at homes around Funchal, casting a smoke plume over the downtown and forcing the evacuation of more than 400 people. (AP Photo/Helder Santos)  (The Associated Press)

  • A firefighter works to stop a forest fire from reaching houses in Curral dos Romeiros, on the outskirts of Funchal, the capital of the Madeira island, Portugal, Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016. Flames from forest fires licked at homes around Funchal, casting a smoke plume over the downtown and forcing the evacuation of more than 400 people. (AP Photo/Helder Santos)

    A firefighter works to stop a forest fire from reaching houses in Curral dos Romeiros, on the outskirts of Funchal, the capital of the Madeira island, Portugal, Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016. Flames from forest fires licked at homes around Funchal, casting a smoke plume over the downtown and forcing the evacuation of more than 400 people. (AP Photo/Helder Santos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Men spray water on the roofs of houses to protect them from an approaching fire in Curral dos Romeiros, on the outskirts of Funchal, on the Madeira island, Portugal, Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016. Flames from forest fires licked at homes around Funchal, casting a smoke plume over the downtown and forcing the evacuation of more than 400 people. (AP Photo/Helder Santos)

    Men spray water on the roofs of houses to protect them from an approaching fire in Curral dos Romeiros, on the outskirts of Funchal, on the Madeira island, Portugal, Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016. Flames from forest fires licked at homes around Funchal, casting a smoke plume over the downtown and forcing the evacuation of more than 400 people. (AP Photo/Helder Santos)  (The Associated Press)

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.