The Latest: Strong winds, dry forests fuel Portugal fires

The Latest on the wildfires blazing in France and elsewhere in Europe (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Officials in Portugal say they don't expect a forecast drop in temperatures to help extinguish a spate of summer wildfires.

Civil Protection Agency spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar says continuing strong winds and tinder-dry woodland remain a menace.

Almost 2,000 firefighters were deployed at six major blazes across Portugal Thursday. The worst-affected areas continued to be in the central region of the country, especially a fire around Serta, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Lisbon, which was burning for a fifth day.

A Canadair water-dropping plane from Morocco joined four others from Spain, and authorities were assessing where best to deploy them.

Gaspar said there were "no critical situations" requiring evacuations. She said 37 people have been slightly injured in recent days.

A wildfire last month in central Portugal killed 64 people in one night.


11 a.m.

French authorities say they are near to bringing under control one of the fiercest blazes in France's four days of wildfires.

The fires in Bormes-les-Mimosas in the Var region that caused the evacuation of more than 12,000 people calmed Thursday morning because of a drop in winds.

But authorities, who are also battling fires in nearby Artigues, expect flareups due to lack of moisture and a pickup in wind.

The civil protection authority is providing refuge for the displaced. A sailing club near Bormes-Les-Mimosas has sheltered 200 people, including tourists.

Three thousand firefighters have been deployed to contain the flames that broke out Monday in the southeast of France and Corsica and have consumed 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) of vegetation.

There have been no reported casualties.