Europe

Portugal's August wildfires make up half of EU's 2016 total

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 11 2016 file photo, a woman uses a tree branch to fight a fire on the road leading to the village of Parada, near Mortagua, northern Portugal. Authorities say a series of wildfires this month in Portugal has burned more than half of the land lost to blazes in the entire 28-nation European Union so far this year. The EU's Forest Fire Information System, which collates wildfire data, says wildfires have charred more than 217,000 hectares (536,200 acres) in the bloc in 2016. Almost 116,000 hectares (286,600 acres) of the charred forest land is in Portugal, the agency told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Sergio Azenha, file)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 11 2016 file photo, a woman uses a tree branch to fight a fire on the road leading to the village of Parada, near Mortagua, northern Portugal. Authorities say a series of wildfires this month in Portugal has burned more than half of the land lost to blazes in the entire 28-nation European Union so far this year. The EU's Forest Fire Information System, which collates wildfire data, says wildfires have charred more than 217,000 hectares (536,200 acres) in the bloc in 2016. Almost 116,000 hectares (286,600 acres) of the charred forest land is in Portugal, the agency told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Sergio Azenha, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016 file photo, firefighters battle a fire that reached the old center of Funchal, the capital of Portugal's Madeira island. Authorities say a series of wildfires this month in Portugal has burned more than half of the land lost to blazes in the entire 28-nation European Union so far this year. The EU's Forest Fire Information System, which collates wildfire data, says wildfires have charred more than 217,000 hectares (536,200 acres) in the bloc in 2016. Almost 116,000 hectares (286,600 acres) of the charred forest land is in Portugal, the agency told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Helder Santos, file)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 9 2016 file photo, firefighters battle a fire that reached the old center of Funchal, the capital of Portugal's Madeira island. Authorities say a series of wildfires this month in Portugal has burned more than half of the land lost to blazes in the entire 28-nation European Union so far this year. The EU's Forest Fire Information System, which collates wildfire data, says wildfires have charred more than 217,000 hectares (536,200 acres) in the bloc in 2016. Almost 116,000 hectares (286,600 acres) of the charred forest land is in Portugal, the agency told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Helder Santos, file)  (The Associated Press)

Authorities say a series of wildfires this month in Portugal has burned more than half of the land lost to blazes in the entire 28-nation European Union so far this year.

The EU's Forest Fire Information System, which collates wildfire data, says wildfires have charred more than 217,000 hectares (536,200 acres) in the bloc in 2016.

Almost 116,000 hectares (286,600 acres) of the charred forest land is in Portugal, the agency told The Associated Press.

Four people have died in the country's worst wildfires in recent memory.

However, Portuguese emergency services reported Wednesday that cooler temperatures and a drop in wind strength gave fire crews some respite after two weeks of battling intense flames.